Ronnie was ‘near perfect’ says his brother Tommy

Scene of the road accident in the north Antrim village of Broughshane on Tuesday which claimed the life of Ronnie McCaughan. Photo: Pacemaker.
Scene of the road accident in the north Antrim village of Broughshane on Tuesday which claimed the life of Ronnie McCaughan. Photo: Pacemaker.

A Broughshane decorator and lay preacher who died in a road accident was “as near perfect as you could get” and never fell out with anyone in all his 70 years, his brother said.

Ronald (Ronnie) Finlay McCaughan of Houston Park in Broughshane is survived by his wife, Mary, and brother Tommy. He was also brother to the late Jim, Jack, Maria and David.

Mr McCaughan, 69, died after an accident involving a lorry on the Main Street in the Co Antrim village at about 9.20am on Tuesday.

Speaking to the News Letter, his brother Tommy paid a heartfelt tribute to his younger brother, who was a long time active member of Broughshane Gospel Hall.

“He was 15 years younger than me and he was very easy going,” he said.

“He was just a gentleman. I was 15 when he was born.”

Tommy concedes he always had a soft spot for his younger brother.

“My mother used to say she could not chastise him if I was about. He was always well behaved as a child.”

Ronnie served his time as a decorator and worked in many Broughshane homes over the years.

A faithful member of Broughshane Gospel Hall, he [Ronnie] would have taken meetings in the hall. In his earlier days he would travel around many other gospel halls to preach, Tommy said.

He was also very involved in children’s work and collected children by bus on a Monday night to bring them to the hall for quizzes and stories.

His life consisted of being “about the house” and with the gospel hall, his elder brother said.

“He was as near perfect as you could get. I don’t think he ever fell out with anyone in his 70 years.”

Ronnie’s wife Mary was also from Broughshane. The couple were very happily married for 32 years.

“They were just devoted to one another. Where you got one you got the other.”

Mary concurred, describing Ronnie as “a very loving caring and thoughtful husband”.

They had no children, but Tommy’s daughter, Elaine Hawthorne, paid her uncle a glowing tribute.

“He was one of the kindest people I ever met,” she said. “He was just lovely. He papered every room in my house. He was totally reliable, a really faithful man.”

DUP councillor Beth Clyde had said Broughshane was “stunned” by his loss. She asked people to pray for Ronnie’s wife and family, the lorry driver and witnesses, as they had been “traumatised” by the accident.

Police are appealing for witnesses on tel 101, ref 264/16/01/18.

• Mr McGaughan’s funeral will be at 1.30pm on Friday at Broughshane Gospel Hall.