NUJ tribute to union veteran Ken Whelan

  • 12 Jun 2023

Tributes have been paid to former NUJ activist, journalist and author Ken Whelan, who has died.

Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary, said his death marks another break in the link with the Irish Press chapel, where he served as Father of the Chapel and long serving committee meeting during turbulent periods in the history of the newspaper. 

Ken Whelan successfully negotiated changes to working practices which staved off closure of the group for a number of years. He also served as secretary of the Dublin Newspapers Branch for a period and represented Republic of Ireland members on the NEC from 1992 to 1994.

Séamus said:

"Ken was a committed and engaging journalist, a political biographer, a former political advisor and a shrewd observer of current affairs. Despite failing health, he maintained a keen interest in the NUJ in retirement and was proud of the history of the Irish Press. The closure of the Press titles was a source of sadness to him. I would echo the view of former president Barry McCall, who has often praised Ken's leadership in dealing with a management which often appeared to know or care less than the chapel officers about the fate of the press. Ken was a man of strong views and principles. He will also be remembered for his humour and ability as a storyteller.”

Return to listing