Mayor taken seriously ill in New Zealand

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There was shock and concern in Lisburn this week when the outgoing Mayor, Councillor Margaret Tolerton, was taken seriously ill whilst on an official Council goodwill visit to New Zealand.

Mrs Tolerton, who has lived with diabetes since she was five years old, travelled to New Zealand last week and was suddenly taken seriously ill.

Admitted to hospital, she underwent a surgical procedure over the weekend.

A spokesperson for Lisburn City Council said Mrs Tolerton is “recovering well and will remain in New Zealand until she is well enough to travel home.

“She continues to be appreciative of and grateful to all the many well-wishers who have sent kind messages during this difficult period. Councillor Tolerton’s health is a private matter for her and her family and the Council’s thoughts and best wishes are with her at this time.”

Alderman William Leathem, who is a close friend of Mrs Tolerton, said he had been in contact with her several times and that she had now been released from hospital and hoped to return home to Lisburn next weekend.

“I have been in contact with her on a daily basis and she is progressing well,” he said.

“She has been in good form and I wish her and her family all the best,”

The new Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Andrew Ewing, who served as Mrs Tolerton’s Deputy, undertook her Mayoral duties and wished her a speedy recovery.

“I know it was disappointing for Margaret to miss out on meeting the Queen this week,” said Mr Ewing. “I was happy to deputise for her this week during her illness and I wish her a speedy recovery.”