THE Funeral has taken place of Sir John Gorman the former politician and businessman who passed away on May 26, aged 91.
Mourners gathered in Killyleagh, Co. Down, for the Funeral Mass in St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church. To view the Funeral arrangements click here.
Fr Eugene O’Neill told mourners that Sir John’s name had been held in esteem by people across the spectrum of politics as “a by-word for decency”.
Fr O’Neill added: “He was a man whose basic approach to life was not to ask, ‘what can I get?’ but rather ‘what can I give?’.”
Sir John had filled many roles during his long life — soldier, policeman, politician and businessman.
During the Second World War, while serving as a Lieutenant in the Irish Guards, he was awarded the Military Cross for an action in Normandy while in command of a Sherman Tank. He had taken on a far superior German tank in the incident, going on to destroy the Tiger II after initially ramming it when his gun had jammed. His war service was recognised by France when he was made a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur.
Sir John, who was Omagh, ended the war in the rank of Captain and after leaving the army joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary, serving as a District Inspector until 1963.
He then became involved in business, working first for the BOAC airline before going on to be a regional manager for British Airways. He later served as Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
Knighted in the Birthday Honours in 1998, the same year Sir John was elected to represent North Down in the Northern Ireland Assembly for the Ulster Unionist Party. He eventually served as a Deputy Speaker in the Assembly before resigning in 2002.
In recent years he served as the Queen’s Deputy Lord Lieutenant for County Down.
He wrote two volumes of autobiography — The Times Of My Life and Always A Mick. Both books are available from Amazon (see below).
Among the many tributes to Sir John was one from the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Mike Nesbitt, who described him as having been a “leading catholic unionist”.
Mr. Nesbitt said: “The last time I was with him was at a branch meeting of the party in Killyleagh last year. He was barely mobile and said he was there simply to support me. I was humbled by that gesture and in his death I am inspired to deliver better politics as a tribute to his memory.
“He truly was one of the a kind and we are all the poorer for his passing.”
Sir John is survived by his wife Heather and children Angela, Johnny and Rosanagh.
To get more information on Sir John’s book Always A Mick, click here.
To get more information on Sir John’s book The Times Of My Life, click here.
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