29 October 2009 Edition
Death of Redmond O'Neill
SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams has expressed his deep sense of shock and sadness at the death of Redmond O’Neill in London.
Adams extended his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Redmond who died on Wednesday afternoon during surgery, following “a long and valiant battle against cancer”.
Gerry Adams said:
“Le bás Redmond tá laoch ar son saoirse na hÉireann caillte againne agus is fíor bhrón e sin.
“It was with a deep sense of shock and sadness that I learned of the death of Redmond.
“I want to express my sincere condolences and sympathy to Redmond’s partner Kate, his sisters Fidelma, Ann and Tara and all the very close friends and comrades who loved and respected him.
“I met Redmond many times during my visits to London. He was a very dedicated and energetic supporter of Irish reunification, of the Peace Process and of justice and equality campaigns.”
The Sinn Féin leader said that, during the party’s recent discussions around initiating a focused campaign on Irish reunification, Redmond played a very helpful role.
“Right up until the day before his death, he was advising and contributing to the discussion and bringing to it a wealth of energy and talent.
“His suggestions were insightful. They have helped shape the approach Sinn Féin will be taking and the structure and content of the conference planned for London next February.
“As an Irishman, born in Britain, Redmond’s vigour and enthusiasm for promoting many progressive campaigns and initiatives was respected and infectious.
“Most recently, in his role as policy director to Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor of London, Redmond championed the promotion of London’s St Patrick’s Parade and Festival which made it one of the largest celebrations of Irish heritage anywhere in the world.
“His key role in this and many other endeavours, in supporting justice and freedom in Ireland and in other parts of the world, were widely known and underline why his loss will be so greatly felt.
“Redmond was a kind, generous, and courageous comrade. These qualities are reflected in how well-liked and loved he was by those who he met in both his political and personal life.
“He will be remembered by all those who had the privilege to work alongside him.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time and we also remember, in happiness, his positive and exceptional contribution.
“Is measc laochra na nGael go raibh a anam dílís.”
Redmond’s funeral will be at Highgate Cemetery in north London this Friday, 30 October at 11am. Speakers include Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty, Ken Livingstone, Diane Abbott MP and a representative from Venezuela.
Bik McFarlane will be taking part in the musical tribute.
Redmond O’Neill and Bik McFarlane pictured at a screening of ‘Hunger’ in May