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The agenda setter who left a lasting legacy of activism

On the 29th of May 2016, SIPTU Health Division learnt of the sad passing to one of our most cherished comrades. 

Pat Murphy, a shop steward in the Inniscarrig Centre at Erinville Hospital passed away peacefully, in the presence of his loving wife Eileen and in the care of the devoted staff of Mercy University Hospital, Cork. 

A committed trade union activist for over 35 years, Pat dedicated his entire working life to fighting the good fight for his Nursing colleagues and all working people and to protect public health services for the next generation. At the time of his passing Pat also served on the National Nursing Committee and Sector Committee and Health Division Executive Committee 

Pat was a man of great integrity, passionate about the causes which he believed he as a union leader and community leader were obliged pursue. He had that rare combination of understanding injustice and the value of leadership and organisation to support workers and community to confront those most privileged in our society in order to achieve justice and fairness.

While Pat was a popular man and admired by all those who came into contact with him, he was not a populist and this is attested to in the stance he took over the most difficult period for working people people in Ireland since the 1930s with the onset of the economic crash in 2008. A situation which witnessed savage attacks by Government and the usual vested interests in attempts to destroy public jobs and the hard earned terms and conditions of workers throughout the heath service.

But Pat stood with his comrades in securing three public service pay agreements which while extremely tough, achieved job security and the possibility of recovering the concessions made for another day. Unfortunately Pat won’t be with us as the day arrives when we seize the recovery for the benefit of our members and the services which they provide to their communities.

However, it is somewhat comforting to say that Pat actively designing the agenda our negotiators will bring to the table at the next national negotiations, An agenda which Pat demonstrated his vision for health workers and the provision of public services in our community.

Never one to shirk responsibility, speak up and be heard Pat played an active role at conference proposing motions that strived to make a difference to the working lives of all nurses and midwives he represented. 

An avid sports enthusiast, Pat had a keen interest in horse racing and GAA and left it all on the pitch when it came to this contribution to the cause of working people. Pat has left behind a lasting legacy of activism underpinned by hard work, compassion for others and down to earth decency.

He will be greatly missed by all in SIPTU Health Division and will be remembered, forever and a day, by all who knew him, worked with him and loved him. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. 


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