Date Released: 28 November 2014
SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, has expressed his sincere condolences on behalf of his union at the death yesterday (Thursday, 27th November), of former Mandate trade union official and international solidarity campaigner, Brendan Archbold.
Brendan was a tremendous advocate for workers’ rights in Ireland and internationally and was one of the key leaders in the Dunnes Stores Anti-Apartheid strike during the 1980s.
He was also a vocal supporter of the Palestinian people and a long-standing member of the ICTU Global Solidarity Committee.
“We deeply regret the death of Brendan Archbold a lifelong trade union activist and campaigner for social justice nationally and internationally,” Jack O’Connor said.
Brendan wrote a number of articles in the SIPTU newspaper, Liberty, about the Dunnes Stores dispute and his visits to South Africa, along with the strikers, most recently for the funeral of Nelson Mandela in December, 2013.
At that time he wrote: “If the legacy of this great man means anything to us, we must redouble our efforts to promote the human rights agenda that was at the heart of everything he stood for. Solidarity is the cornerstone of trade unionism. That is what Mandela recognised in the Dunnes Stores Strikers. Both he and they have set the bar at a very high level so let us not delay. There is work to be done. Farewell Comrade Madiba. We’ll miss you”.
Mandate General Secretary and ICTU President, John Douglas, said: “Brendan was a formidable trade union official and an exceptionally intelligent individual who brought huge energy to the trade union movement. He will be very sadly missed by all but his legacy, particularly within Mandate, will live on and we can look back in admiration at all of his achievements.”
Douglas added: “Less than twelve months ago Brendan attended the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, having played a significant role in Ireland’s fight against the apartheid regime that Mandela was also fighting. While it is sad that both are now at rest, we can be thankful for the time we had with them and the energy they both brought to the working class movement, and we should all endeavour to continue that battle ourselves.”