THE family of a popular councillor who gave years to his community have paid tribute to him.

Penketh and Cuerdley councillor Allin Dirir sadly died on July 22 following a stroke.

The ‘much loved’ husband, dad and granddad leaves behind his wife Cllr Linda Dirir, son Adam, and daughters Leila, Sareda and Sophia. Allin’s early political life started when he was 16 after he was voted as the youngest leader of a political party in his home country of Somaliland.

After studying at Alexandria University in Egypt and becoming fluent in several languages, he travelled to the UK to take up a place at Lancaster University.

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He met his beloved wife Linda in 1968, with the pair getting married in 1970 and making Penketh their home where they brought up their four children.

Furthermore, Allin – who has been hailed for his ‘strong loyalty’ to Warrington – was heavily involved in promoting female equality.

During his life, he worked with community leaders and local groups to encourage women from ethnic minorities to take up educational opportunities and integrate into British society.

In 2000, Allin decided to run for the parish council and made history by becoming the first Somali man in the country to be formally elected to local office.

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Within a few years, he was elected as chair of Penketh Parish council – a position he would go on to hold twice more.

He was also a key campaigner during the Arpley landfill saga, fighting hard with his wife Linda to prevent it being placed in the heart of a residential area.

In 2007, the pair became mayor and consort of Warrington – an honour they were ‘extremely proud’ to accept.

In recent years, Allin, along with a small team of others, decided to reinstate Penketh Carnival.

Despite a lack of funding, they managed to create an event which has continued to flourish and now welcomes more than 3,000 people, with Allin determined for it to remain free of charge for everyone.

Allin’s family have paid a heartfelt tribute to the man who ‘cared deeply’ about his community.

They said: “He was such a wonderful man, inspirational in so many ways.

“He has a quiet charisma and a generous warm heart, he was so dearly loved by us all.

“He really cared about our town and all his friends and neighbours here.

“He achieved so much in his life and we are incredibly proud of him and his contribution to the world.”

Council chief executive Steven Broomhead added: “Allin had style, wit and was a great personality.

“He combined these traits with being a really hard-working member of the Penketh community.

"We will all miss you."