Monday, January 08, 2007


PUP leader dies in hospital

I was sorry to learn that PUP leader David Ervine had died in hospital in Belfast, aged 53.

Ervine, a former UVF prisoner, was a key figure in brokering the loyalist paramilitary ceasefire of 1994.

He suffered a heart attack at his home on Sunday. He later had a stroke and a brain haemorrhage.

Warm tributes have been paid to him. The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said the PUP leader had been a courageous politician while British PM Tony Blair said he was sorry to learn of his death.

Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams praised his contribution to the peace process as did the DUP's Peter Robinson.

I must admit I was never a big fan of Ervine and felt he was a bit too pretentious at times. I questioned how sincere he really was in his desire for peace and stability.

In retrospect though I think it's fair to say he was a man with far more sanity and optimism for progress than the buffoon who currently speaks for most unionists right now. If Paisley held the attitude of Ervine, I think NI would be in a far healthier state at present.

Getting away from the political side of things, it's also very sad to see a man die so young.

I have no idea how Ervine will be remembered by history but I have a feeling his legacy will be a lot more positive than that of many of his peers.



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