THERE was a sombre sense of deja vu at Lisburn Council on
Tuesday evening when Mayor Trevor Lunn adjourned the monthly
meeting as a mark of respect to Dunmurry Cross DUP Councillor
Stephen Moore who passed away suddenly last week.
Mr. Lunn performed the same sad duty less
than six months ago when Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Ferguson
also died suddenly. And once again political differences were
cast aside as representatives of all parties paid warm tributes
to Mr. Moore.
One of the most moving came from Sinn Fein's
Paul Butler who was perhaps one of Mr. Moore's greatest
political opponents in the chamber.
Recalling the meeting at which members had
reflected on Mr. Ferguson's passing he said: "Stephen came over
to me as I went out through the door.
"He talked to me saying he was very sorry
about what had happened and about what Michael's family were
"That is something that will stick in my
mind. At the end of the day we are all human in here."
Mr. Butler acknowledged that in the weeks
ahead the chamber would once again be the scene of 'heated
debates' but added: "Tonight is the night to reflect on the
human side of us all."
Moving words were also spoken by the SDLP's
Peter O'Hagan who recalled how he had been aged just five when
his own father passed away, leaving his mother to bring up six
children just as Mrs. Moore now faced the task of raising the
couple's four young daughters without her partner.
Other councillors spoke of the grief and
anguish they had witnessed at Mr. Moore's funeral last Friday in
Lisburn Free Presbyterian Church as his widow, four young
daughters and parents struggled to come to terms with what had
happened. They also paid tribute to Minister, the Rev. Thomas
Martin for the manner in which he conducted the service and DUP
colleagues of the late councillor thanked other members for the
support they had provided at such a sad time.
Warm tributes paid by all
parties to their late colleague
TRIBUTES were led by the Mayor Councillor
Trevor Lunn who said Mr Moore, who had just been elected two
years ago, would have been a very capable representative for the
whole of Dunmurry Cross. "He already was but he had a lot more
to give" he said.
Alderman Edwin Poots (DUP) said Mr Moore was
very keen to serve the people of Dunmurry and had done a good
job until his health unfortunately caught up with him.
"We will all deeply miss him and miss the fun
we had with him" he said.
Alderman Ivan Davis (Ulster Unionist) added:
"Seeing Stephen's four little daughters running about happy as
larry at events in Lisburn Museum and Linen Centre will stand
out in my mind. It's important we do not forget that in the days
that lie ahead there is an obligation on us to remember those
And Alderman Seamus Close (Alliance) told the
hushed chamber: "We are told that death comes like a thief in
the night but we do not take it fully to heart. But we here
should really remember those words as we in this chamber have
been struck by two sudden deaths in recent months.
'We can make all sorts of arrangements and
plans but we do not know what is going to happen - it is not in
Cllr Peter O'Hagan (SDLP) said: "He died
before he had achieved those things he had before him both as a
parent and as a councillor.
"I know the devastation that can come with
the loss of a father so at the present time, for days to come
and I hope into the future our thoughts will turn to the family
left behind." Ald Paul Porter (DUP) said: "This is not something
I ever thought I would be doing. Stephen was a good friend and
colleague. He was someone who will not be replaced."
And Councillor Ronnie Crawford (Ulster
Unionist) said: "I was totally shocked. It took my breath away.
I had to repeat his name to make sure I was hearing right. It is
a great tragedy, particularly for his wife and children."
Family grateful for show of
MR MOORE'S family have thanked everyone who
contacted them to express sympathy. In a statement this week
they said: "On behalf of his widow Stephanie, his four children,
parents and family circle, we the family of the late Cllr
Stephen Moore would like to express our heartfelt thanks to
everyone who has contacted us to express their sympathy on our
sad loss. "We deeply appreciate the kindness shown to us by so
many, including those who called at home, sent letters and cards
and the hundreds who attended the funeral.
"Stephen will be sadly missed and we are
comforted by the support and care we have received from the