David Hilditch: Carrickfergus Town Hall service of thanksgiving for life of former East Antrim MLA

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Funeral details have been announced for former East Antrim DUP MLA David Hilditch following his death yesterday (Sunday).

A celebration of David’s life will be held at Carrickfergus Town Hall this Friday (November 10) at 1.30pm and afterwards to Victoria Cemetery.

Mr Hilditch, who was 60, died after a courageous battle against cancer, which led to his resignation from the Assembly in September.

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A family notice on the Funeral Times website said he was “called home 5th November 2023 peacefully at Macmillan Unit in Antrim Area Hospital with loving family by his side. Former MLA, DUP councillor, twice-serving Mayor of Carrickfergus Borough Council, and director of Carrick Rangers Football Club”.

Former MLA David Hilditch. Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press EyeFormer MLA David Hilditch. Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye
Former MLA David Hilditch. Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye

The notice added: “Much loved father of Michael and the late Stuart. Father-in-law of Julie-Ann. Proud grandfather to Megan, Paige and Jack. Beloved brother of Joan and Jim.”

Donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, were invited to NHSCT (Macmillan Unit Antrim Area Hospital) c/o S & J Irvine, 31-35 Irish Quarter South, Carrickfergus, BT38 8BL.

Mr Hilditch was a member of Victoria Evangelical Hall, Carrickfergus and a lifelong friend of the church’s pastor, Drew Hamill.

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A statement from the church read: “It was with much sadness and heartache that we learnt the passing of our esteemed member David Hilditch this morning (Sunday). It’s a time of much sadness but we rejoice on knowing that he's at home with his Lord and Saviour. Please pray for David's family and friends during this difficult time.”

Meanwhile, messages of tribute continue to pour in for Mr Hilditch who was involved in a wide range of organisations in East Antrim. A prominent member of the Loyal Orders, he was also a former director of Carrick Rangers FC.

The Alliance Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said: “My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family and friends at this very difficult time.

“David was an extremely hardworking and committed public representative and I know his loss will be keenly felt within the local community. I was saddened to hear of his passing and I extend my heartfelt sympathies.”

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TUV leader Jim Allister said: “On my own behalf and on behalf of TUV I wish to express condolences to the family, friends and party colleagues of David Hilditch on his passing.

"David served the people of Carrickfergus with great devotion for decades, even in failing health. The fortitude with which he bore his illness was the mark of the man.”

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Carrick’s neighbouring football clubs, Larne and Ballyclare Comrades, also extended condolences.

The Inver Park Club stated: “All at Larne Football club wish to send condolences to the family of former Carrick Rangers FC chairman David Hilditch, following the sad news of his passing.”

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There were similar sentiments from Dixon Park: “Ballyclare Comrades is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carrick Rangers stalwart David Hilditch. We send our condolences to the Hilditch family and everyone at Carrick Rangers at this sad time.”