Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, expressed his deep sadness at the death of Nelson Mandela. He also passed on his condolences to Mandela’s family, friends, and comrades and said that his passing is a loss to humanity.
Deputy Crowe said: “It is with great sadness that I learnt of Nelson Mandela’s death today.
“Mandela spent his long life bravely fighting Apartheid, racism and injustice.
“The struggle he led resonated with people around the world and his name was known in every corner of this planet.
“I remember taking part in a host of anti-apartheid protests in Dublin, most notably the Dunnes’ Stores picket.
“Mandela, during his 27 years in prison, became a symbol of hope for the majority of oppressed people in South Africa and those who laboured for freedom, equality and democracy all over the world. When he was elected as South Africa’s first black president in 1994, and the brutal apartheid regime was dismantled, it filled the world with hope and optimism.
“He became a unifying symbol in the new South Africa, helped bed down the peace, and the difficult transition towards an inclusive multi-cultural society.
“In his biography, Long Walk to Freedom, he wisely said that to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
“Mandela was an Internationalist and a strong supporter of Irish people’s right to self-determination. He was supportive of an inclusive peace process in Ireland and an advocate of the Irish Good Friday Agreement.
“He led by example and we in Sinn Féin learnt so much from his, and the ANCs, experience in their own difficult peace talks.
“On behalf of Sinn Féin I would like to pass on my condolences to Mandela’s family, friends, and comrades.
“Nelson Mandela will be remembered as one of the most remarkable, charismatic and principled leaders of the 20th Century.
“His name, life story, and intellect, will never be forgotten, and he will continue to inspire those who struggle and strive for freedom, equality, fairness and social justice.
“He was a father figure to millions of people around the world, and his passing is a loss to humanity.
“Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela’s long walk to freedom has ended.
“Ar dheis dé do raibh a anam.”