Tributes have been paid following the death of former Upper Bann MLA George Savage who has died following an illness, at the age of 72.
Mr Savage, who was a farmer from Donaghcloney, was a long-serving member of Craigavon Borough Council serving two terms as mayor, a position his wife Joy also held.
Mr Savage also represented the Upper Bann constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly until 2011.
Party colleague and Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson said: “It was with deep sadness that I heard of the death of my party colleague, President of the Upper Bann UUP Association and former MLA, Councillor George Savage.
“George was a friend, neighbouring farmer and colleague and as a community in Donaghcloney and Waringstown we will miss him deeply.
“He was a good and decent public servant who upheld the core values of the Ulster Unionist party and worked hard for all of his constituents both at Stormont and in his capacity as a Craigavon Councillor.
“In his time as an MLA George was a friend to the farmer, serving on the agriculture committee and as its Deputy Chairperson.
“I extend my sympathies to his wife Joy, boys Kyle, George and Nigel and the entire family circle at this sad time.”
Speaking of how he will be missed, Councillor Carol Black said: “Today I want to pay tribute to my friend Councillor George Savage who sadly passed away this week.
“George joined the Ulster Unionist Party when he was 15 years old, serving for a total of 58 years.
“George served the community not only as a local councillor for over 20 years, but also as a former MLA for Upper Bann.
“He will be missed by his wife Joy and sons Kyle, Nigel and George Jr.
“George and Joy were 50 years married a day before he died.
“George was a true, honest gentleman and he respected everyone for who they were.
“George was a humble man but loved a good laugh and he helped me a lot with my political career.
“He told me - when you are in the Council Chamber you fight for the people that put you there, but when you come out shake hands - I suppose that is why George had so many friends. I will miss him.”
Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson also paid tribute to his party colleague.
Mr Nicholson said: “George Savage, my long-term friend and colleague, was a very capable politician and public representative who served all his constituents with great energy in both the Stormont Assembly and Craigavon Borough Council.
“As a farmer George understood the bread and butter issues affecting the agricultural industry which he tirelessly represented at a political level.
“Being fully in tune with the needs of the industry meant he was well placed to make a positive contribution.
to the work of the Assembly’s Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.
“George was respected across the community as a result of his many years of public service and I wish to extend my sincere sympathy to his wife Joy and the entire family circle at this sad time.”