Tánaiste’s statement on the death of trade unionist and human rights activist, Inez McCormack21 January 2013
I was very saddened to hear today of the death of Inez McCormack. I wish to express my sympathy to her husband Vinnie and Trade Union colleagues on the loss of a courageous and amazing woman.
Inez played an enormous role in public life on this island, as President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, as a human rights activist and behind-the-scenes in the negotiations of the Good Friday Agreement.
A brilliant trade unionist, she was an inspiration to countless people in community and public life as she tirelessly challenged the status quo and demanded a better way for working people and working class communities in Ireland, North and South.
Her leadership, at a vital time, undoubtedly helped drive the demand for peace and reconciliation in Ireland.
The hallmark of her leadership was insight and analysis backed by action for change. Inez demanded change and insisted on people taking responsibility to bring change wherever they could –be it on the shop floor, the board room or in communities. Her toughest critique was of those who had the most power to bring about change – be that at national or international level –and she never lost faith in the ability of people to achieve what seemed impossible at first sight.
Inez made a lasting unique contribution to Ireland and to international solidarity.