Tributes paid to former Highways Hotel owner Crawford Magill

Crawford Magill with a photograph of the Highways as it looked under his ownership. INLT 36-410-PR

Crawford Magill with a photograph of the Highways as it looked under his ownership. INLT 36-410-PR

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Warm tributes have been pouring in to former Larne hotelier Crawford Magill, who passed away on Thursday.

Mr Magill died peacefully in hospital at the age of 92, having suffering from dementia for some time.

The former grocer founded of one of Larne’s best-loved businesses– the Highways Hotel– in 1973 and ran the popular venue for more than 20 years.

The once-majestic 36 bedroom hotel has lain derelict for a number of years, but many people still hold fond memories of the building in its heyday, when Mr Magill ran the business with his wife Mary and helping hands from their five children.

Hundreds of messages of condolence have been posted on social media, with tributes led by former businessman and ex-Larne Mayor, Roy Craig, who said: “Deepest sympathies to all the family. The face behind the Highways with a flower always adorning his lapel. God bless.”

Some of the other social media tributes read:

- “So sorry to hear of Crawford’s passing. We have many fond memories of time with him at the Highways Hotel.”

- “A true gentleman and a great character - the world will be such a sad place without him in it.”

- “That warm friendly smile was always a pleasant welcome at the door off the Highways Hotel. One of life’s true gentlemen that will be sadly missed. Never would walk past you without a polite hello and how’s you and the family.”

- “I always remember your dad we went most Sunday’s with my family to Highways and even though I was young I remember your dad with the suit and flower what a character and I loved going there.”

- “End of an era! And the boss taught us all we know. He touched so many people’s lives and we are all the better for it.”

A service of thanksgiving for Mr Magill’s life was held at First Larne Presbyterian Church on Monday, followed by interment at Raloo Cemetery.

Read more:

Mr Magill ‘couldn’t even look’ at derelict Highways Hotel