Former president Kyran Connolly remembered
Kyran Connolly - © Private
28 February 2013
More than a hundred people attended the funeral Mass and cremation of former NUJ president Kyran Connolly in West London. In addition to many NUJ members, others who joined the family at the events to mark the death of a much-loved comrade included representatives of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, of which Kyran was an enthusiastic supporter, and activists from the trade union movement in London and beyond.
Kyran's friends on the NUJ Book Branch committee remember him with great fondness:
"NUJ Book Branch activist Kyran was a founder member of the NUJ Book Branch and served members employed in book publishing at every level of the NUJ from chapel rep to National Executive Committee, where he represented Books for many years.
"He was particularly proud of the time in the 1980s when he and other Book members employed by the British Printing Corporation had fought job losses and defended union rights with a strike and workers' occupation. Kyran regularly argued that the union should never accept voluntary redundancy – believing that it meant the loss of a job from the industry, and no one has the right to consent to that.
"Kyran was always there for members who needed help, dealing with numerous personal cases, redundancies and supporting chapels in struggle, often on the picket line.
"He was the guardian of the Book Branch banner, which he carried proudly on many demonstrations – including regularly on the London May Day March.
"Kyran was an internationalist and fluent Spanish speaker who had travelled widely and took a special interest in South America including the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and support for the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.
"His strong instinct was to support workers in struggle – no matter where they were. While strongly opinionated politically, Kyran treated all those he met with respect – and also had a great sense of mischief and joie de vivre. He enjoyed a drink and good craic.
"Kyran was an inspiration to all, and a good friend to many.
"He was a great class fighter and will be fondly remembered by those who knew him. As Kyran would say: "La lucha continua!" (the struggle goes on)."