Fitting tribute to community champ Peter

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A respected councillor who died suddenly last year has been honoured with a plaque and tree planting ceremony.

Former Batley West councillor for Labour, Peter O’Neill, passed away last December during a family holiday in Vietnam aged 68.

And his friends at the Pakistan and Kashmir Welfare Association (PKWA) placed a plaque and lime tree at their headquarters off Manor Way on August 1.

Mr O’Neill’s granddaughter Ella Grace unveiled the plaque near the building’s entrance.

It reads: “In loving memory of Councillor Peter O’Neill, Community Champion and Friend. Gone but will Never be Forgotten.”

Fiaz Rashid, of PKWA, said: “I have known Peter for over 12 years and I have always found him to be a principled, warm, hardworking and compassionate advocate for the people.

“He passionately campaigned for local, national and international causes as a community activist to make our society a better place for all.

“His inspiration and selfless service to the community will remain with us.”

Mr O’Neill was devoted to his wife of 42 years Gillian and three children Dawn, Sean and Marielle.

He represented his ward for eight years and was an active member in the Kirklees Labour Party.

Mr O’Neill was also the first person to publicly endorse late MP Jo Cox as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for the Batley and Spen constituency.

His daughter Marielle O’Neill stepped into her father’s council seat after he retired in May 2015.

She said: “My father was a man of the highest moral character and a tireless advocate for those in need.

“He would go out of his way to go the extra mile to help people.

“This is a very fitting tribute. It’s lovely to see the community come together to honour him in this way.”