DUP MLA Gregory Campbell told colleagues on Monday (april 28) how the late David McClarty once invited him onto his house for a cup of coffee whilst he was canvassing for an election contest against him.
Mr Campbell recalled: “One of my party colleagues advocated that I should canvas in a particular part of the estate, which just happened to be where David lived, but I did not know that.
“I think that they deliberately pointed me in his direction. I rang the doorbell and his wife came out and said, ‘Oh, Gregory, it’s yourself. Can you just wait a second?’ David came out, because he had finished his canvassing for the evening. We all know that, at election time, it gets very difficult and fraught and opponents can have sharp words.
“However, we had a very friendly discussion, at the end of which David said, ‘Do you want to come in for a cup of coffee?’ That was the mark of the man. He was my political opponent, yet he was prepared to offer to sit down with me for a cup of coffee.
“We will all deeply miss the wit, the humour and the charm of David McClarty. We pay tribute to him today.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also paid tribute to the one time Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member describing hims as “a unionist to his backbone but highly respectful of all traditions in our society.”