Parish Church was full to overflowing last Friday afternoon as
friends and family gathered to say farewell to local man
Jonathan Hanna on what would have been his 35th birthday.
Jonathan, who was one of Northern Ireland's
leading public relations executives, passed away while on
holiday in Spain.
He is survived by his wife Julia, son
Stephen, sister Judith and parents Anne and Gordon.
An employee of Ofcom, Jonathan had been
suffering from cancer and had just completed an intensive five
week daily cycle of radiotherapy.
The Director of Ofcom Northern Ireland Denis
Wolinski described him as "a very valued colleague who really
knew his stuff.
"He was absolutely dependable and
professional in everything he did," he added. "But more than
that, to all of us who worked with him, he was warm, outgoing
and had a wonderful sense of humour. We're going to miss him
Mr. Hanna was a former Managing Director of
the Anderson Spratt Group. "Jonathan's courage and spirit in
recent weeks and months in the face of debilitating illness were
both inspirational and deeply humbling," said Group Managing
Director Peter Spratt. "In an industry often associated with cut
and thrust and a fierce competitiveness it's not every day you
are going to meet someone who is talented, kind, funny,
sensitive and very media savvy. Jonathan Hanna was all of these
things and more."
GCAS Public Relations Director Michael
Rafferty, a close friend and family colleague said: "He was
unbelievably brave and dignified to the very end even in our
most recent phone conversations. I'm going to miss Jonathan a
Former PR colleague and friend Orla McKibben
said she would always remember his fantastic sense of humour
which shone through no matter what the situation.
"His courage in dealing with cancer and Julia
and his family's strength and support throughout his illness
were an inspiration to all," she added.
"It was a privilege to know Jonathan. He was
a great guy to work with but more importantly a true friend who
touched many heart during his short time here."
Jonathan Hanna was educated at Wallace High
School and was a graduate of economics and politics from Queens
He was an enthusiastic bell ringer and a member
of Hillsborough Parish Church's all-Ireland winning team. He had
many diverse interests but a particular passion for history and
sport, being an authority on Sir Winston Churchill and an avid
supporter of European Champions Liverpool.
After the funeral on Friday, Jonathan was
buried in the graveyard adjoining Hillsborough Parish Church.