Mr. Peter Craig

Mr. Peter Craig

DOWN District has bid farewell to “a mighty man.”

Peter Craig — husband, father, grandfather and brother, politician, community man and Gael — was laid to rest following a Requiem Mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Saul last week.

During the mass, which drew hundreds of family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Craig, Father Anthony Meaney paid tribute to the 65 year-old local councillor as a “giant among his peers.”

Fr. Meaney said he was a “mighty man” who had a legendary dedication to “public good, public wants and public cases.”

After the mass, Mr. Craig’s wife Angela, stepson Chris, daughter-in-law Anne and grandson Ryan made their way behind the coffin which was welcomed by a guard of honour of Saul GAC, of which he was chairman.

Fr. Meaney praised Mr. Craig’s love of sport and Gaelic games. He said he had been chairman of Saul GAC for 30 years and maintained his dedication to the club despite his poor health in recent years.

Mr. Craig was instrumental in opening the club in the evenings to give young people an alternative to the pub scene. Fr. Meaney said he wished to protect them from the “ravages of drink.”

“He was at everyone’s beck and call and he helped everyone,” he said. “He had amicable relations with all his colleagues on the council from all different backgrounds.

“Peter was big enough and broad-minded enough to acknowledge anybody’s right to hold opinions different to his own.”

SDLP colleague and friends South Down MP Margaret Ritchie and her predecessor Eddie McGrady were also prominent among the mourners.

Also in attendance were SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell and Assemblyman Conall McDevitt, the new Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory and former Irish senator Maurice Hayes.