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Regional daily’s political editor dies from cancer aged 57

Henry McDonaldA regional daily’s serving political editor has died aged 57 after being diagnosed with cancer.

Tributes have been paid to Henry McDonald, who had held the role at the Belfast News Letter for the past year.

Henry, pictured, had previously spent 23 years with The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, latterly as their Ireland correspondent.

During his career, which spanned five decades, the father-of-three also worked for the Irish News, Dublin’s Evening Press.

Henry was first diagnosed with cancer in 2018 when a tumour on his stomach was discovered, prompting chemotherapy.

According to the News Letter, the disease returned recently after he developed sepsis.

News Letter editor Ben Lowry said: “We are distraught at the death of Henry, our much loved political editor, at the far too young age of 57.

“We were delighted when such an outstanding journalist joined our team last year, and from his very first day here he was bursting with ideas and stories.

“In fact Henry’s start coincided with a work experience student whom he took in hand, advised and brought out on the road to political stories, a typical display of his energy and generosity.

“Henry’s death leaves a major hole in the paper, and all the staff send their deepest sympathies to his family.”

Henry’s career began with the Belfast-based News, where he worked from 1989 to 1991 and assignments including covering the Gulf War form the Middle East.

Noel Doran, editor of the Irish News, told the News Letter on Sunday: “I was very sorry to learn of Henry’s death this evening.

“He was an old friend, a talented writer and one of the great characters of Belfast journalism. I send on the sympathies of everyone at the Irish News to your staff.”

Henry is survived by his sister Cathy McDonald, partner Charlotte Blease and children Lauren, Ellen and Patrick.