Former mayor of Larne Joan Drummond has died.
A member of the Ulster Unionist Party, she served as mayor in the borough in 1997, and in 2000 received an MBE for public service.
Roy Beggs snr, the former Ulster Unionist MP for East Antrim, led tributes to a woman he described as “a lovely lady”.
“I deeply regret the passing of Joan Drummond,” he told the Belfast Telegraph last night.
“She and her late husband Sammy gave a lifetime of service to the Craigyhill community. She served with distinction on Larne Borough Council.
“A committed Ulster Unionist, she was highly respected by all sections of the community. She was a lovely lady – we’ll all miss her.”
UUP colleague councillor Andrew Wilson said he had served for a short time with Mrs Drummond on the former Larne Borough Council before she left local government in 2005.
Councillor Wilson, himself a former UUP mayor of Larne, said Mrs Drummond had been deeply involved in community issues in Larne’s Craigyhill estate, including the meals on wheels service and senior citizens’ club.
“Joan Drummond was someone I looked up to,” he said last night.
“She was a nice lady, and had a great way with people.
“Very much a community politician, she represented her area very well during her time on Larne Borough Council
“Joan was one of those people who naturally volunteered for things, and she will be very sorely missed.
“My heart goes out to the whole Drummond family circle at this time of loss for them.”
Ulster Unionist councillor Maureen Morrow, who now represents the Craigyhill area, offered her condolences to the Drummond family.
“She was a delightful lady,” she said.
“She served on the council during the difficult days of the Troubles, and everyone speaks well of her work during her years in politics.
“She had been unwell recently but always had a smile for you, no matter how ill she was.”
A service for the former mayor will take place tomorrow at noon in First Larne Presbyterian Church.
The funeral will be held at Larne Cemetery.
Mrs Drummond is survived by her children Joanne and Samuel, brothers Jim and Derek, and four grandchildren.
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