Sadness as the oldest person in the UK and Ireland with Downs Syndrome dies

George McCullagh the oldest person in the UK and Ireland with Downs Syndrome, has sadly passed away at the age of 78.

George, originally from Ballydawley, Moneymore, he died in the Marina Care Home, Ballyronan, on Thursday of last week after a short illness.

His funeral service was held in Calvary Free Presbyterian Church, Magherafelt on Sunday, followed by burial in Coagh Presbyterian Churchyard.

Born on June 1, 1944, his parents Mary Elizabeth and William George McCullagh were told their son wasn’t expected to live beyond his teenage years.

George McCullagh who was the oldest person in the UK and Ireland with Downs Syndrome.

His father was a farmer but George, although unable to follow in his footsteps, always had a great love for animals and was a keen collector of cuddly toys.

He had been a resident at Marina Care Home for a number of years where each of his birthdays were celebrated in style.

Among the many tributes to George was one from former First Minister Paul Givan who said in a Facebook post: “Really sorry to hear about the passing of George McCullagh. At the age of 78 he was the oldest person in the UK & Ireland with Downs Syndrome. It was a pleasure to have had George & his families support when I brought forward Pro-Life legislation to the assembly. The world was a better place having George in it. Thinking of his family circle at this time.”

His sisters Eileen, Elizabeth and Dorothy were devoted to their brother, as were the staff at the Care Home.

Eileen Miller posted on Facebook: “It is with much sadness that I write this notice. My precious wee brother, George McCullagh, passed away in the Marina Care Home, Ballyronan, in the early hours this morning.

“We are all completely heartbroken. George was our special brother who had severe Downs Syndrome.”

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