‘He shouldn’t have died like this’- MLA

Brendan O'Connor died following a road traffic collission on the Culmore Road.
Brendan O'Connor died following a road traffic collission on the Culmore Road.

Tributes have been pouring in following the tragic circumstances which claimed the life of ‘gentleman’ Brendan O’Connor.

SDLP Leader and Foyle Assemblyman Colum Eastwood said he was devastated at the loss of someone he knew well. His sentiments were echoed yesterday by other local people who knew Mr O’Connor.

Police yesterday confirmed that the 70-year-old who was hit by the car on the Culmore Road on Sunday night was Mr O’Connor.

Mr Eastwood said: “I was devastated to hear this news on Sunday evening. It is a tragedy which has brought huge shock to Derry and to the very many who knew Brendan.

“Everyone who knew Brendan knew of his goodness. He was deeply committed to those he loved and to the city he loved. I knew him to be a hugely warm gentle man. I was deeply fond of him.

“The circumstances of his death make his loss all the more tragic. He shouldn’t have died like this. My thoughts and prayers are with him, his partner Mo and his whole family at this time.

“Their grief will be immense and all we can do as community is to surround them with our support. May he rest in peace.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper expressed his condolences following the tragic death, adding that the local community was “shocked and saddened by the death”. Friends and former colleagues and the wider public from across the North West have been leaving dozens of messages of condolences on social media since Sunday.

On the ‘Derry Journal’ Facebook page, one person described Mr O’Connor as “always a gentleman”, while another woman concurred: “Brendan was a real gentleman.” A third person wrote: “RIP Brendan, and may God bless your loved ones.”