EDUCATOR, mathematician, philosopher and writer, James Gerard McGrady, has died aged 91.

Mr McGrady was born in Downpatrick, County Down, as the third of five children.

He is the son of guardsman, Charles McGrady of the Irish Guards, and his wife Mary.

Mr McGrady spent his early life in Northern Ireland, gaining a degree in mathematics at Queens University, Belfast.

He qualified as a teacher and emigrated to central Africa in 1954, to assist in a UK-led education programme.

It was there he met his beloved wife and lifelong companion, Sheila, whom he married in 1962.

Returning to the UK in 1963, Mr McGrady started his family and taught in London and Somerset before returning to Africa for a further four years at Nakuru Secondary School in Kenya.

A keen golf player, he was one of the first winners of the Captain's Prize at Njoro Golf Club.

Back in England, with a full complement of four children, he taught in Leeds before finishing his teaching career on the Isle of Wight, with deputy head and headteacher positions at Nodehill Middle School and Lake Middle School.

Never one to slow down, he complemented his retirement with a master's degree in education and advisory work as an Ofsted inspector.

Mr McGrady travelled extensively during his retirement, taking trips to the USA, Europe and even Australia, where he climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark his 70th birthday.

He also enjoyed a number of cruises to several exotic locations.

He was fortunate to be able to pursue his sporting interests in swimming and golf well into his advanced years, including driving more than 200 yards in his 80s.

Following the tragic loss of his eldest son, Sean, in 2017, Mr McGrady's energy declined, though his love of life, singing and celebration remained strong.

While deeply intellectual, with interests in mathematics, science, history and philosophy, he was primarily a family man, and took great joy in his wife, children and extended family.

He leaves behind his beloved wife Sheila, sister Helen, brother Vincent, children Chris, Roisin and Siobhan, and grandchildren Sinead, Oliver, Jenni, Laura, Gerard and Enid.