Relatives of borough chief touched by tributes

GRIEVING relatives of borough boss James Hehir have been overwhelmed by the glowing tributes paid to him since his sudden death.

Naomi Gornall

GRIEVING relatives of borough boss James Hehir have been overwhelmed by the glowing tributes paid to him since his sudden death.

Mr Hehir, who had been chief executive at Ipswich Borough Council for 20 years, died at home last Tuesday at the age of 61.

Tributes have poured in since Mr Hehir's death, with tributes praising the huge influence he had on the town's transformation.


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His wife, Sally, and children are said to have been touched by the public's kindness and support following the tragedy, which happened soon after he returned from Australia where he seen son Sam get married.

Sam, has now flown back to England to join his grieving family.

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Details of the 61-year-old's funeral and a civic memorial service were today released by his family.

A civic memorial service will be held on Tuesday, November 24 at St Mary-le-Tower Church in Tower Street, Ipswich.

Attendance at the service will be by invitation only because of limited space but Ipswich Borough Council is planning a live broadcast of the service to the Corn Exchange at 11am, for colleagues and the public to watch.

Details of the broadcast can be found online at www.ipswich.gov.uk later this week.

Meanwhile, a private funeral service for family and close friends is being held on Friday at All Saints Church in Holbrook.

Books of condolence for Mr Hehir have been placed at the Town Hall in Ipswich (Town Hall Galleries entrance) and at Ipswich Borough Council's Grafton House offices for people to pay their respects.

Borough director Russell Williams thanked people who have already paid emotional tributes to the man dubbed “Mr Ipswich”.

His family have requested no flowers but donations in memory of Mr Hehir can be made to The British Heart Foundation c/o Michael Smy Funeral Directors, 145 Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 8EB.

He leaves wife, Sally, children Emily, Lucy and Sam, and grandchildren George, Esme and Oliver.

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