Popular Cookstown drama lecturer was ‘a true gentleman’

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Tributes have been paid to a popular Cookstown-born lecturer who died suddenly leaving behind a grieving wife and three young children.

Dr Paul Devlin, who was a talented drama teacher and theatre director, passed away suddenly in Kinsale in Co Cork.

Among those who have paid tribute to the 43-year-old father-of-three has been comedian Micky Bartlett and well-known Derry writer Dave Duggan who described him as an “ace man.”

A graduate of Queen’s University English Department, Dr Devlin was the first Ph.D. in Drama from the University of Ulster’s School of Creative Arts and had been Lecturer in Drama at the University of Ulster since February 2007.

Colleagues, students and friends have described him as a much-loved, dedicated teacher, who would never pass a student in the corridor without saying hello.

Father Sean McGuigan, speaking at his funeral Mass in Holy Trinity Church, Cookstown last Saturday, said Paul had adored his three daughters.

“As well as a talented lecturer and theatre director, Paul was dedicated to his family. He was an avid reader and was always open to new ideas and discovering deeper ways of looking at life.”

Posting on social media, the University of Ulster wrote: “Paul was loved by many Ulster students in Magee and will be missed sorely. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

His former students spoke of their devastation, and the enduring role he played in their lives and education. Dr Devlin was laid to rest at Forthill Cemetery, Cookstown. He is survived by his wife Kate and children Edie, Poppy and Maille, and his father Kevin.