UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Brendan McCarthy - a union man with a big heart

Brendan McCarthy former Joint Regional Convenor for UNISON Northern Ireland and Branch Secretary of the NUPE North & West Belfast Health Branch and the UNISON Royal Hospitals Branch died last week.

Brendan was a member of NUPE and UNISON for most of his life. He loved the union. He met his late wife, Frances, while working in the Royal Victoria Hospital. His mother, his brother George and many of his family members worked there too. His son Conor McCarthy is the current Joint Chairperson of the Branch. He loved his family.

Throughout his long service as a trade unionist Brendan helped thousands of members and they, in turn, consistently elected him as their chosen union rep. In the 80’s and 90’s he led some of toughest strikes we have ever experienced, including the longest strike in the NHS in Northern Ireland, which we won. Brendan went on to work for the union as a Regional Organiser.

Brendan believed passionately in the dignity of working class people. His service to the members is a matter of record. He also had a big heart. Few people know that he worked quietly to bring some joy to lonely pensioners in his community. He was our friend and colleague and we will miss him.

Patricia McKeown