Tributes after passing of Cookstown hotelier and road-racing enthusiast

Former Cookstown Motorcycle Club president Milton Thom
Former Cookstown Motorcycle Club president Milton Thom

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Derryloran Parish Church on Saturday to pay their respects to well-known Cookstown hotelier Milton Thom, who sadly died last Thursday.

Since his passing politicians, motorcycle brethren and masons have all come forward with tributes to the respected local businessman.

A former president of Cookstown & District Motorcycle Club and member of the Coagh and Cookstown chapter of Victory Masonic Lodge, he is believed to have passed away peacefully at Antrim Area Hospital on February 6.

Mr Thom was then laid to rest at Cookstown Cemetery following a funeral procession and service at Derryloran Parish Church.

Husband of the late Meta, he leaves behind children Jennifer, Audrey, Hilary, Glenda, Brian and Stephen, and also his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Milton, who was 84 at his time of death, was a keen supporter of the Cookstown 100 and a motorcycle enthusiast.

Proprietor of Cookstown’s Royal Hotel, he was also well known within business circles.

Kenny Loughrin from Cookstown Motorcycle Club, has extended his sympathies to Milton’s family.

“I have known him fifty years,” he told the Mail, “He was heavily involved in motorcycling over the years.

“He was a gentleman and we are indebted to Milton for the sponsorship he gave us.

“He was president for a long number of years, and not only that but he sponsored the race [and] a number of riders. He was involved in every aspect of the sport.

“He had a powerful sense of humour [and] any time I went in to see him he always had something to say to encourage you as far as keeping the thing going.

“His love of motorcycle racing almost cost him his life over six years ago at the Skerries Road race near Dublin... but with grit and determination he bounced back when others wouldn’t have. Since that, there were different times he was in hospital - but this time there were just too many complications.

“His death is the end of an era and we at the club will sadly miss him for the input and encouragement he gave us throughout the years.”

Mid Ulster MLA Sandra Overend has also expressed her sympathies following the passing of Milton Thom.

She said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of local businessman, Milton Thom, on Thursday morning.

“His passing will come as a huge loss to his children, Brian, Stephen, Jennifer, Audrey, Hilary, and Glenda, and his wider


“Milton, a well-respected businessman in Cookstown, will leave behind a legacy in commerce, sport and culture, having given so much time and energy to local motorcycle racing and pipe band groups,” the UUP representative added.

“His loss will be felt by the whole community in Cookstown and Mid-Ulster.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my deepest condolences to the Thom family during this difficult time.”