would like to convey my deepest sympathies to Philip, Jonathan, Veronica and
Paddy and to all of Ronnie’s extended family.
I have worked
with Ronnie for over 35 years and in that time Ronnie has had a profound
positive impact on my life. I remember
when John O’Connell passed away, Ronnie described John as a friend and
mentor. Well, I feel very lucky as I
have had two mentors – John and Ronnie.
learned so much from Ronnie – her advice, her strategic thinking and her ability
to be able to look around corners and anticipate developments was
Ronnie was a tireless and fearless advocate for Travellers and Roma
human rights. I remember many, many times going with
Ronnie to meetings with politicians and senior civil servants. I will admit that from time to time I would
take the odd prisoner – but Ronnie never took any prisoners. She went through them for a shortcut.
invested her life in Pavee Point and work with Travellers and Roma. Ronnie totally immersed herself in the work
and totally immersed herself in the community.
Ronnie was so well informed she could identify family connections in the
community better than I could. She knew
many Travellers not only on a first name basis but on a nickname basis.
community we don’t have a system or a ritual for becoming an honorary member –
but if we did have such a system or ritual and if we developed criteria –
there’s no doubt in my mind that Ronnie would tick all the boxes.
It has been a
privilege to have worked with you Ronnie and to call you my colleague and above
all – my friend. I owe you a great debt of gratitude for the profound impact you
had on my life. I learned so much from
you over the years. Most of all I
learned – believe in yourself and your ambition can be realised. I know
this is also true of many other Travellers.
Ronnie, the journey we started out on almost 40 years ago is not finished. The struggle goes on. I, and others, owe it to you to build on your incredible legacy. We will forever speak your name.