October 13, 2023
O’Neill expresses condolences on the death of Hugh Russell

First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill has expressed condolences on the sad passing of Irish News photographer and Boxing champion, Hugh Russell.

Michelle O’Neill said: 

“I am deeply saddened to learn that Hugh Russell has passed away today. 

“My immediate thoughts are with his wife Kathy, daughter Hayley and sons Hugh Jnr, James and Calum and wider circle of family and friends at this very sad and difficult time. 

“I want to also extend my condolences to all of Hugh’s colleagues in the Irish News, to the many press photographers and journalists who worked with him over many decades and the boxing and sporting communities. 

“Hugh grew up in North Belfast’s New Lodge area and developed a love of the sport of boxing. He went on to win many major titles, including bronze medals  in the 1980 Olympic Games and the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Hugh went on to win Irish and British titles when he turned professional in 1981 and retained an active interest in the sport for the rest of his life.  

“He had a deep passion for photography and for many years worked as a press photographer for the Irish News, capturing some of the most iconic imagery of our history here. 

“He passed that passion on to a whole generation of photographers in the  community through his involvement in the CB Camera Club.

“Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting Hugh at many events and press conferences and he always carried out his work with good wit, humour and a smile. 

“He was an absolute gentleman and a pleasure to get to know. 

“Hugh will be deeply missed by all. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.” 

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