Ballymena Guardian staff were saddened to learn of the death of former editor Jim Flanagan.
Jim was a total professional who had a long and distinguished career in journalism.
He received his initial training at the Thomson Regional Newspapers center in Cardiff.
He was originally a reporter for the East Antrim Times, then at the Belfast Telegraph news desk.
Jim was the title’s deputy editor for 10 years as well as editor of its weekly Community Telegraph series, then edited Sunday Life between 2005 and 2009.
He succeeded the Ballymena Guardian to longtime editor Maurice O’Neill and continued the newspaper’s tradition of engaged community coverage in the Mid Antrim area.
Ballymena Guardian’s current editor, Des Blackadder, said: ‘Jim Flanagan was well liked by all who worked with him and his passing has caused genuine sadness among his former colleagues.
“Everyone at the Guardian would offer their condolences to the entire family circle.”
Among the first to pay tribute to Mr Flanagan, North Antrim MP Ian Paisley said: “It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Jim Flannagan, former editor of the Guardian. “Jim had the most difficult task following Maurice O’Neill as editor of one of the country’s most important weekly newspapers.
“He quickly embedded himself as a well-known voice for the community through the pages of the newspaper.
“I got to know him extremely well. He was straightforward, had a great sense of history and cared about the city and its people. To his wife and children, I offer my sincere condolences. Their loss will be immense and they are in our prayers.”
Alpha Media chief executive Jean Long said Mr Flanagan’s passing would be a cause for widespread sadness.
“Jim Flanagan was an excellent journalist and an exceptional writer. He will be mourned by all who worked with him and knew him.
Respected journalist and editor, died April 19, 2022, aged 61.
Beloved husband of Colette, father of James and Suzanne, father-in-law of Iain, grandfather of Lana and Freddy, cherished son of Olive and the late Jim, and brother of Gary.
Funeral arrangements to be confirmed later.
Family flowers only please. If you wish, donate to the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) at Freeman’s Hospital, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, c/o O’Kanes Funeral Directors, 12 Portland Avenue, Newtownabbey, BT36 5EY or online at www .okanesfunerals. co.uk