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Death of Bridie McMahon – great loss to west Belfast community: Adams

10 August, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Bridie McMahon who died at the weekend while on holiday in Portugal with family and friends.

Efforts are underway to have Bridie brought back to Ballymurphy. Her family and friends hope that she will be home on Thursday or Friday.

Gerry Adams said:

“Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a dhéanamh leis an gclann ar fad in Bridie McMahon.

"I have known Bridie for over 40 years. My wife Colette knows her even longer than that. She was 64. She lived in the Westrock bungalows before moving to the Whiterock. In good times and bad Bridie was funny, vibrant, and full of energy. She always had a kind word and would go out of her way to support those in need.

"As a republican political prisoner in Armagh prison in the early 70s she was, as one comrade said, ‘the life and soul of the place’. For a time she was with Máire Drumm and in subsequent years one of her party pieces was to recite the famous speech by Máire which saw her sentenced to Armagh prison.

"Bridie had a ready smile and her humour and vitality were legendary. She was also a natural and gifted actor. Over the years she was a crucial part of Féile an Phobail and participated in many plays, including ‘Just a Prisoners Wife’; ‘Murphy’s Law’; ‘A Mother’s Heart’; ‘Binlids’ and ‘Forced upon us’.

"I have very fond memories of helping to arrange for Bridie and the ‘Binlids’ cast and crew to go to New York to put on the play. It was a great success.

"Last week, while out with a meal along with her friends in Portugal, she was approached by a couple from Belfast who recognised her as the character ‘Ma Maguire’ in the BBC series ‘Pulling moves’. Bridie enjoyed the craic.

"Bridie was a long standing Sinn Féin and community activist. She worked tirelessly and fearlessly during the H Block – Armagh campaign and the hunger strikes, and took part in countless election campaigns.

"Her loss for her friends and comrades is immeasurable. Bridie was an example of the total activist. She was immersed in her determination to help her neighbours and through her activism and acting to promote freedom and justice and equality.

"She was, as we say fondly in Belfast ‘a character’. Bridie will be hugely missed by all who knew and loved her. Over five decades she made a significant contribution to the community of west Belfast.

"I want to extend on my own behalf and that of Sinn Féin our deep appreciation of Bridie, our regret at her death, and our deepest sympathy and condolences to her family and friends.”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam.

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