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Statement on the death of Ivan Cooper

Date: Wed 26th Jun, 2019 | 13:48

“It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Ivan Cooper, former MP, civil rights activist, justice advocate and founding member of the SDLP.

As one of the organisers behind the earliest and many of the initiatives of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland which were responding to the exclusion of so many from the most basic rights as housing, health and education, Ivan Cooper took inspiration from civic actions in the United States and became himself one of sources of inspiration for all those who took a stand against inequality and injustice.

With his unshakable belief in the universality and indivisibility of human rights, Ivan Cooper was a beacon of hope and the embodiment of the power of non-violent actions in pursuit of justice. 

His work as a campaigner in the 1960s was rewarded when he won the largest political mandate of any nationalist member of the Parliament of Northern Ireland and his legacy of personal courage, leadership and the dedication to the cause of justice continues to inspire activists and politicians alike. 

As President of Ireland may I express my deepest sympathies to Ivan’s wife Francis, his daughters Sinead and Bronagh and his wide circle of family and friends.”