The funeral of a former Newry councillor and founding member of the Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) was held on Monday morning.
Arthur Ruddy died on Thursday, October 12, peacefully surrounded by his loving family.
He was the husband of the late Patsy and and devoted father of Kathy, Kieran, Art, Theresa, Liam, Patricia and Shauna.
Paying tribute, following Requiem Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Newry, MLA Justin McNulty said: “I am so sad to hear of the passing of one of the SDLP’s founding fathers, Arthur Ruddy RIP.
“A huge family man, Arthur was a beacon of what is good during the darkest of times serving on Council for many years including two stints as Chair.
“Arthur was a proud Newry Mitchels GFC man and I believe he played alongside the great Gerry Brown. Personable, down to earth, and very well known, Arthur relished getting his teeth into any issue.
“Able and decent, he was always willing to face hard challenges head-on and do the right thing however difficult that was. He was a big part of the SDLP family and will be sorely missed.
“My sympathies with Arthur’s family, friends and former colleagues. Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.”
Chair of the Newry and Armagh SDLP Constituency Branch, Killian Feehan, also paid tribute.
He said: “Arthur was an excellent public representative and dedicated Gael who held the SDLP values of respect and integrity close to his heart.
“He worked tirelessly throughout his political life for the people he represented and was held in high esteem by the people of Newry holding the position of Chair of Newry and Mourne District Council on two occasions.
“On behalf of the SDLP in Newry and Armagh, I extend my deepest sympathies to Arthur’s family at this sad time.”
Former Newry and Mourne UUP councillor and MLA Danny Kennedy also paid tribute to a his former political colleague who had celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year.
Said Mr Kennedy: “I always found him to be very honourable in all his dealings
“We differed politically on many things but retained a mutual respect. Arthur was a dedicated local representative for the SDLP who served Newry with distinction and led the Council for two years as Chairman.
“He worked for Royal Mail for many years, having previously been employed at Bessbrook Mill. He was devoted to his late wife Patsy and I offer my sincere and genuine condolences to his family circle at this sad time. May they know God’s comfort and blessing.”
Mr Ruddy’s was laid to rest following 10am Requiem Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Chapel Street Newry on this morning (Monday).