Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has extended his condolences to the family of civil rights leader and human rights lawyer Pat Fahy.
Gerry Adams described Pat Fahy as a “unique and exceptional Tyrone man who in difficult times stood up to the injustices of the Stormont regime and of British militarism, and promoted the values of human rights.”
Teachta Adams said;
“Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a dhéanamh le teaglach Fahy ag an uair millteanach brónach i saol bhur gclann.
“As a young man Pat was one of the foremost civil rights leaders in the North. He was the chair of his local Civil Rights Association and in April 1969 he was one of those who led a civil rights march in Omagh that was confronted by a large number of RUC and Paisleyite counter demonstrators.
“When the march was blocked Pat and others, including Michael Farrell and Ivan Cooper, addressed the civil rights marchers. Speaking directly to those a short distance away who were opposing civil rights and blocking their route Pat said that it was not the intention of the civil rights campaigners to ‘replace one system of discrimination by another, the rights of all would be secure’.
“In 1977 Pat was one of those who founded the Irish Independence Party which he led for its eight years of existence.
“As a human rights lawyer he represented many of those in Tyrone who were victim of the RUC and UDR, as well as the families of those murdered by unionist death squads operating often in collusion with the British state forces.
“He was always very supportive of Sinn Féin and acted as Pat Doherty’s election agent when Pat successfully stood for the west Tyrone Westminster seat.
“In 2010 Pat Fahy set out his vision for the future.”
“Since the Civil Rights campaign of the 60’s we have been involved in an ongoing campaign to achieve basic human rights in the North of Ireland. Foremost in our demands then was the right to exercise the basic democratic right to vote and to elect our representatives.
“Gradually that right was achieved but not without great sacrifice on the part of ordinary people. Many of those people are no longer with us, but the struggle of the Irish people for the equally basic right to self determination is still very much to the forefront; the battle to end external oppression and the injustice which has been the inevitable result of the partition of our country is still to be won.
“The prize if we can achieve all of this will be a just and open society in which human rights and social justice will be our emblems. For we are striving to create a society where all sections of our people will be treated equally, but the vulnerable, especially the old, the disabled, women and children will be given special respect and care. Our task is no easy one but together we can achieve success.”
Deputy Adams concluded;
“To his wife Robyn, sons, daughters and wider family circle and his many friends I want to extend my sincerest condolences on their loss.
Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dílis.