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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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Tributes paid to Lord Ballyedmond

Tributes have been paid to politician and businessman Lord Ballyedmond, who died in a helicopter crash last night.

Lord Ballyedmond photo
Lord Ballyedmond

The peer, owner of Corby Castle, near Carlisle and owner of Norbrook Laboratories, which had a base in the city, was one of four who died at the scene in Norfolk.

In Cumbria, Lord Ballyedmond was praised for his generosity and support for local charities and good causes.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson lives in Great Corby, a short distance from Corby Castle, and has known Lord Ballyedmond for some years.

“He made a large contribution locally through his business interests and also through his charitable activities, many of which were done quietly and without fanfare. He made a sizeable donation to the military museum at the castle,” he said.

“Locally, I saw him develop the Corby Castle estate and the local brewery was expanded. He’ll be a hard act to follow. On a personal level, he was extremely hospitable, and very entertaining.”

South Down SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie said Lord Ballyedmond was unique.

“He was a major employer in the County Down area and invested a lot of money.

“He got up and at it and he possessed those attributes required to make you a successful businessman but he also was a major employer and a lot of families had connections with him through that.”

Ulster Unionist peer Lord Reg Empey, who has known the Haughey family for 25 years, said: “Lord Ballyedmond was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland and indeed these islands.

"He brought high-quality employment opportunities to this country during its darkest days.

“This tragic accident has cut short the life of a man who had still much to give. The family circle will be numbed by the tragedy.”

And Ulster Unionist Stormont assembly member Danny Kennedy said: “Lord Ballyedmond was a determined businessman who brought much-needed employment to my own constituency of Newry and Armagh.

"He built a world class business from scratch and at the same time managed to base it locally.

“He will be sadly missed throughout the business community in Northern Ireland and wider afield. I offer my deepest sympathies to Lady Mary and the children.”

Stormont enterprise minister Arlene Foster said: “One-of-a-kind and a self-made businessman, he was both highly regarded and widely respected by all those who knew him.

“Norbrook Laboratories currently exports to more than 120 countries worldwide and Lord Ballyedmond worked tirelessly to promote Northern Ireland as an investment location.

“Not only has he made a huge contribution to the local economy but Lord Ballyedmond also devoted much of his time to charitable works and this is to be highly commended.”

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