The huge contribution made by the late Mollie Holmes to civic life was the central theme of tributes paid at Tuesday’s meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Council.
The death of the former Mayor of Ballymoney Borough Council had been announced that morning and the entire chamber expressed their condolences to Mrs Holmes’ family.
Mayor Michelle Knight-McQuillan lead the tributes saying that Mrs Holmes had been the first female to be eleceted onto the the Ballymoney Urban cCuncil 55 years ago.
The Mayor said that Mrs Holmes had given 30 years service to the community and “what marked that service was her unfailing concern for all ages, classes and creeds”.
The Mayor offered her condolences to Mrs Holmes’ son James and the entire family circle.
On behalf of the SDLP Alderman Maura Hickey said that Mrs Holmes had been a “woman before her time” and paid tribute to her “vision”.
Cllr Ian Stevenson said that Mrs Holmes was not intersted in “self promotion” but in the people of the Ballymoney area.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Darryl Wilson said there had been a real sense of sadness in the town of Ballymoney when news of Mrs Holmes’ death broke.
He said that Mrs Holmes “epitomised how public servants should behave”.
He said her legacy had inspired him and others for “generation to come”.
Cllr Philip McGuigan said Mrs Holmes had been “sharp, witty and thoughtful in all she did”. He added that her length of service as a female elected representative in the very conservative North Antrim area “spoke volumes for her talent”.
Cllr Barney Fitzpatrick added the condolences of the Alliance party and said he had known Mrs Holmes since 1975. Cllr William Balir described Mrs Holmes as a remarkable woman.