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Former regional daily journalist and NUJ president dies aged 67

Paul McGillA former regional daily journalist who also served as president of the National Union of Journalists has died aged 67.

Tributes have been paid to Paul McGill, who worked as education correspondent for the Belfast Telegraph.

A member of the NUJ Belfast and District branch, Paul was one of the best known trade unionist activists in Northern Ireland and served as NUJ delegate to Belfast Trade Union Council.

Paul, who died on Friday, served as the¬†union’s president between 1989 and 1990.

Bel Tel journalist Laurence White interviewed Paul not long after he was diagnosed with the cancer which would claim his life.

He said: “Paul McGill was an inspirational man of tremendous integrity and professionalism. The whole basis of his work was to help other people get on in life

“Paul was someone who believed passionately that people deserved the best opportunities in life.

“Paul faced his final illness with great courage – may we all have such courage when our own time comes.”

After he left the Bel Tel, Paul moved to England and worked in York for the National Curriculum Council.

He also worked for the World Bank, the Council of Europe and on a project for Kosovo.

Seamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, added: “Paul McGill is remembered as a hardworking and diligent president. He had a strong commitment to social justice and was a passionate believer in the power of education to transform lives.

“Not long after serving as president he moved out of active trade unionism and refocused his career, but he never lost his love for the union or his profound commitment to professional standards.

“In speaking about his cancer, Paul showed remarkable courage and strength of character.

“It served as a reminder of his great spirit to his many friends and introduced Paul to a new generation of readers of the Belfast Telegraph. The NUJ sends condolences to his family, former colleagues and friends.”

Paul is survived by his wife Linda, six children and 12 grandchildren, and his first wife, Bronagh.