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Journalists and trade unionists pay tribute to Harry Conroy

Harry Conroy, 1943-2010

Harry Conroy, 1943-2010  -  © Private

2 May 2010

Journalists and representatives of the labour and trade union movement joined the family of the late Harry Conroy at his funeral in Cambuslang, Scotland, on Friday.

Aged 67, the former NUJ general secretary was a Member of Honour of the union. Though he had endured ill-health for some time, mourners remembered Harry's constant good humour through a life committed to his family, his faith and his socialist principles.

Harry Conroy was NUJ general secretary between 1985 and 1990. He led the NUJ through many of the union's major battles for jobs and standards in journalism, including the notorious Murdoch Wapping dispute and the Thatcher censorship of BBC broadcasting.

He won respect for his union from the wider trade union movement in Britain and Ireland for his commitment to fairness and to decisive action in support of working people in struggle.

Jeremy Dear, the current NUJ general secretary, said:

"Our thoughts are with Harry's beloved wife Margaret and their family at this sad time. He will be greatly missed by a wide circle in journalism, politics and beyond who valued his integrity, his wisdom, and also his generous friendship.
"Harry will be remembered by generations of journalists as a powerful advocate for improved pay and conditions and media freedom."

Harry Conroy was also a former president of the NUJ. Peter Murray, current president and a fellow Scot, said:

"Harry was a popular figure throughout the NUJ, and especially in Scotland where his militancy as a chapel rep was an inspiration to thousands of journalists."

Harry Conroy was also Group Father of Chapel at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, providing a united voice for seven unions and 27 local chapel organisations.

Harry Conroy's death has shocked his colleagues across the NUJ, who have been paying tribute to him.

Tags: , harry conroy, scotland, wapping, rupert murdoch, margaret thatcher, bbc, broadcasting, censorship, daily record, sunday mail