Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
on the death of David Ervine

10 January 2007

The Communist Party of Ireland expresses its sympathy on the death of David Ervine, leader of the Progressive Unionist Party. David Ervine emerged as an articulate advocate on behalf of the Protestant section of the working class. Coming from the working class, he understood the difficulties and problems faced by working people, particularly those experienced by the communities in east Belfast.
     David Ervine and the PUP played a very positive role in securing the Belfast Agreement and drawing loyalist paramilitaries away from violence into political action.
     He was no armchair general. From his own experience within the loyalist paramilitaries he came to understand that violence was not the way forward. He was aware that the Protestant working class had been used and abused by generations of political organisations and leaders who “come from places where drawing-room sectarianism is at its worst . . . They have luxuriated and benefited as society, divided more and more, crashes on the rocks.”
    We express our sympathy for his family and friends at their loss. The struggle to build unity and overcome the deep divisions among working people is a struggle that has to be waged. We salute his memory and acknowledge his contribution.

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