Patsy Toman, a former long-standing SDLP councillor passed away on Thursday 9th July.
He retired from the former Down District Council when it merged with the new Newry Mourne and Down Distriict Council in 2015 having spent 25 years at the coal face of local politics serving the people of Down District having once served as council chairman.
He was laid to rest after a requiem mass at St Macartan’s Church in Loughinisland, the village where he lived in and spent his last days where he passed away peacefully.
Devlin pays tribute to SDLP stalwart, the late Patsy Toman.
Cllr Devlin, Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, said: “I was heartbroken to hear of Patsy’s death. Patsy was a kind, gentle and witty man.
“Back when I began working for former MLA’s Eamonn ONeill and then Margaret Ritchie, Patsy and I would have spoken at the very least on a weekly basis.
“No matter what work I did, he was always so appreciative and complimentary – even back when I am sure it wasn’t perfect!! He was a pleasure to deal with.
“A community man through and through who did everything he could for his constituents and his beloved Loughinisland.
“I am thinking of Anne, Bronagh, Patrick, Niall and all of the Toman’s and the wider family at such a difficult time.”
McGrath expresses sympathies following the death of Patsy Toman.
SDLP South Down MLA, Colin McGrath has expressed his sympathies, after the death of SDLP stalwart, Councillor Patsy Toman.
The South Down MLA said: “I was deeply saddened this morning to learn of the passing of former SDLP Councillor, Patsy Toman. Patsy was an SDLP stalwart for many years, serving more than 25 years as an elected representative and holding the position of Council Chair.
“Patsy was well known in his community of Loughinisland and across South Down as a man of immeasurable integrity. He lived and breathed SDLP values and worked hard to help people.
“More importantly, Patsy was a dedicated and beloved husband, father and grandfather. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult time. He will be missed.”
In the aftermath of the Loughinisland shooting in June 1994, where six men were shot dead by loyalist gunmen, Patsy Toman was a comfort to the grieving families and his Loughinisland community and worked tirelessly for them.
When the UVF finally decommissioned on 15 years after the attack on the Heights Bar in Loughinisland leaving six dead, Patsy Toman said that this would never bring back those who had died.
Only a year before the Loughinisland shooting, Patsy himself was the subject of an attempted unsuccessful bombing by loyalist paramilitaries at his home in the village.