Fórsa has joined tributes to respected community activist Fergus McCabe, following his death last week.
A proud son of Dublin’s inner city, and a close friend and colleague of Fórsa, Fergus was the leading community drug representative on a range of national structures dealing with the drugs crisis, and helped force the issue of drug misuse onto the national agenda.
A central figure in the Inner City Organisations Network (ICON) and, the CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign, Fergus was involved in responding to the second heroin epidemic that shattered working-class communities in the 1990s, demanding action from Government though street campaigns.
He was also heavily involved in inner city youth projects over the decades, and worked closely with Fórsa on the union’s North Inner City fund, established to support projects in the community around the union’s Nerney’s Court office.
Fórsa activist Paul McKeon remembers Fergus fondly, describing his friend and comrade as a veteran community and drugs campaigner “who worked tirelessly” for decades.
Paul said: “He never gave up fighting for our community to be accepted, integrated and not forgotten about.”
Commending his commitment to the cause, Paul described how Fergus motivated him to strive for equality and social justice in his own community.
“The work of people like Fergus gave me the belief and motivation to rise above my own circumstances, and challenge the discrimination we face quite often, from the cradle to the grave,” he said.
“His work and commitment to fight social injustice is one of the reasons that inspired me to fight for the inclusion of a socio-economic status ground in our Equality Legislation,” said Paul.
‘Passionate and articulate’
Fórsa general secretary, Kevin Callinan also paid tribute to Fergus describing him as a “passionate, articulate and tireless champion for his community.”
“I was truly saddened to hear of the passing of Fergus,” said Kevin. “He was the beating heart of his community, dedicating his life to its people.”
Commending his resolve, Kevin remarked at how Fergus advanced the goals of countless initiatives to reduce the prevalence and impact of substance abuse.
“His campaign against heroin use helped transform Ireland’s laws. His legacy will not be forgotten,” he said.
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