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12 February 1998 Edition

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Death of Paddy McManus

VETERAN Sinn Fein Councillor Paddy McManus, popularly known as Paddy Mac, died peacefully on Monday afternoon after a short illness.

In the words of fellow Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Hartley: ``He will be sorely missed by the Sinn Féin group on Belfast City Council, the wider Sinn Féin membership and the entire republican community.''

First elected to Belfast City Council in 1985, for 13 years he served his constituents in the Oldpark ward of North Belfast with ``unstinting commitment''.

Paddy Mac's last Council vote on 19 January was crucial. It allowed Sinn Féin to win the battle to form a new sub-committee dealing with the issues of cultural diversity and the Irish language in Belfast by 25 votes to 24.

As a veteran of Belfast City Council Paddy ``patiently served as a mentor to the newly elected councillors'' as Sinn Fein's electoral mandate increased, Tom Hartley said. During his life as a ``determined'' and ``unswerving'' Republican he helped found the Citizen's Defence Committee in response to the loyalist pogroms in 1969 and was twice interned in the 1970s.

Just days away from his own death, with typical humour and tenacity, on hearing that Gerry Adams had taken a fall at home, Paddy Mac joked that he'd have to send him a `get well soon' card.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: ``In good times and bad times Paddy Mac never wavered in his determination to pursue the republican goals. He was a gentle man and a gentleman. He will be deeply and sorely missed by all who knew him.''
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