Tributes paid after death of Lady Dufferin

Lady Dufferin outside her house at Clandeboye Estate, Bangor, Co. Down in 1998.
Lady Dufferin outside her house at Clandeboye Estate, Bangor, Co. Down in 1998. Credit: Pacemaker

Tributes have been paid to Lady Dufferin who has died at the age of 79.

The resident of the historic Clandeboye Estate in Bangor, Co Down passed away following a short illness.

Lady Dufferin, who was born Serena Belinda Rosemary Guinness, has been described as a "friend to so many".

Lady Dufferin was well known for her charity and conservation work, as well as setting up the Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt business and opening an art gallery.

A statement announcing her passing read: “Painting and Clandeboye were her twin passions and we can take some solace that her last months with us allowed her to indulge both and brought her peace and happiness doing the things she enjoyed most.”

A private funeral will take place at Clandeboye in line with coronavirus regulations.

Memorials are to be held at a later date at both Clandeboye and in London.

Alliance North Down MP Stephen Farry said: “The sad passing of Lady Dufferin represents the end of an era and a remarkable life as talented artist, conservationist and businesswoman leaving a powerful contribution.”

Mr Farry added: “Encouraging the Conservation Volunteers to set-up within Clandeboye Estate in 1975 was a great initiative and forever remembered as one of many initiatives championed by Lady Dufferin.”

DUP MLA Gordon Dunne described the news of her death as "very sad".

In a post on social media he added: "She made a significant contribution to the local economy through her lifetime of work in agriculture, the environment and the arts, and will be greatly missed," he tweeted.