A FORMER North Tyneside councillor and one of the country’s leading barristers has died after a long illness.
Paddy Cosgrove QC, from Whitley Bay, suffered heart and kidney problems.
The 63-year-old served the borough for 20 years from 1974 in the Central Marden and Rockliffe and Whitley Bay wards.
The former school teacher also stood for election as an MP in Tynemouth three times.
Jim Allan, leader of the Labour group on North Tyneside Council, described Mr Cosgrove as a good friend who worked tirelessly for Whitley Bay and the wider area.
He said: “Paddy was a really nice guy, he was always calm, cool and very kind.
“He was determined about what he wanted out of life and always had compassion and kindness.
“Paddy was a special character, he had his own views and opinions and he was not frightened to use them.
“That is what I liked about him. He was loyal to the borough.”
Mr Cosgrove was a highly-rated QC who specialised in criminal cases, mainly practised in Newcastle and Manchester.
He became a barrister in 1976 before becoming a QC in 1994.
His funeral, which took place at St Dominic’s Church in Newcastle last week, was attended by barristers and solicitors from all over the country.
His death has resulted in hundreds of letters being sent to his wife Joan.
One from a colleague in the legal world described her husband as “the best of his generation”.
His wife and family have also paid tribute to the care provided by staff at the Marie Curie Centre in Newcastle, where Mr Cosgrove had been receiving treatment since Christmas Eve.
Mr Cosgrove was a devout Catholic and many believe that his faith gave him all his principles.
The current MP for Tynemouth, Alan Campbell, said: “Paddy Cosgrove made a huge contribution to the life of our local community.
“In his professional and political life he was not afraid to take up unfashionable or controversial causes.
“His hallmark was giving a voice to vulnerable people who had no voice of their own.
“We didn’t always agree on everything but I never doubted for one moment that his views and actions were based on the highest of principles.
“He will be sadly missed, most of all by Joan and their family.”
Carole Gambling, chairman of Tynemouth Labour Party, said: “Paddy will be a great loss to politics, to his friends and to the borough.”
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