Tribute to Tom Brett

  • 23 Jan 2024

Tributes have been paid to Tom Brett, well known Kilkenny photographer and for many years a prominent member of the NUJ.

Tom, who died at St. Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny on January 21st, was a former member of the union’s Irish Executive Council and served at chapel, branch and national level, notably as a member of the Freelance Industrial Council. Over many decades, he was a frequent and outspoken delegate at what was then the union’s annual delegate meeting and at the Irish Delegate Conference. 

A talented photographer he served as a staff photographer with the Kilkenny People but for much of his life worked on a freelance basis. He was a life member of the union and was a leading member of Irish South East branch.

Séamus Dooley, assistant general secretary, extended sympathy to Tom’s wife Grace, to his sons Thomas and Alan and to his daughter Gráinne.

In a tribute Dooley said:

“Tom Brett was a talented photographer who was passionate about his profession. As an NUJ activist he was fierce, relentless, and obstinate in demanding fair pay and better treatment for members. He could be controversial, often crossing swords at meetings and conferences with colleagues and officials and his forceful contributions enlivened many conferences across Ireland and the U.K.  

“His contributions were always colourful and rooted in his own experience. Tom loved the cut and thrust of debate and had a keen interest in all aspects of union activity.

“Tom’s commitment to his union and his craft was matched by an abiding pride in Kilkenny. His published work serves as an invaluable record of the evolution of the marble city during his long career. He leaves a rich legacy to the city in his unique archive and his contribution to the media landscape of the South East will long be remembered.”

Funeral arrangements: Reposing at Hehir's Funeral Home (R95 FH90) from 4.30p.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 23rd) with Vigil Prayers and Rosary at 6.30p.m. followed by removal to St. Patrick's Church. Requiem Mass on Wednesday at 12 noon followed by interment in Foulkstown Cemetery. 


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