David Hilditch’s Legacy
The Northern Ireland Assembly and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) are in mourning as they bid farewell to David Hilditch, a dedicated Assembly member who passed away at the age of 60. Mr. Hilditch’s political career was a testament to his unwavering commitment to the people of Northern Ireland.
Elected to Stormont in 1998, he was re-elected six times, making him one of the last serving MLAs elected after the Good Friday Agreement. Over three decades, he made a lasting impact on the region.
A Passion for Service
David Hilditch’s legacy is one of genuine dedication to the well-being of others. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, expressed his sincere condolences, highlighting Hilditch’s unwavering passion for serving people. “David had a passion for people and believed in serving others,” Sir Jeffrey remarked. Despite his battle with cancer, Mr. Hilditch remained steadfast in his dedication.
He continued to attend meetings and advocate for his constituents until his retirement from the Northern Ireland Assembly in September, concluding a remarkable 32-year public service career.
A Local Champion
David Hilditch’s journey in public service began in 1991 when he was elected to Carrickfergus Borough Council. He served as the borough’s deputy mayor for two years and as mayor for one year from 1997 to 1998. His commitment to his town and its people was unwavering.
Beyond politics, he and his son Stuart Hilditch were active members of Carrick Rangers, their hometown football club. The club conveyed its heartfelt condolences, acknowledging his pivotal role in building the club’s foundation off the field and witnessing its on-field achievements.
Mr. Hilditch held a special place in the hearts of the Carrickfergus community, and his dedication to both the club and the town was unmatched. He was not just a cornerstone of the club but a man deeply woven into the fabric of Carrickfergus.
A Legacy of Dedication and Trustworthiness
Lord Morrow, the chairman of the DUP, highlighted David Hilditch’s remarkable legacy. He was known as dependable, trustworthy, and loyal—a man who will be deeply missed. Lord Morrow recounted Mr. Hilditch’s election to Carrickfergus Council 32 years ago and his close friendship with former DUP leader Rev Ian Paisley, who affectionately referred to him as the mayor of Carrick due to his strong local ties.
A Gentleman and Community Servant
Leaders from all political parties extended their condolences to the man who devoted his life to serving his community. Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie praised him as a dedicated community servant. Independent MLA Claire Sugden remembered him as a gentleman. Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O’Neill offered her sympathies, acknowledging the deep loss felt by Mr. Hilditch’s family and party.
MLA for the Alliance Party Stewart Dickson, who had previously worked on the council with Mr. Hilditch, expressed his sadness at the news. The outpouring of grief and fond memories from political figures across the spectrum reflects the profound respect and affection David Hilditch commanded and the profound impact he had on the lives of those he served.