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Belfast trade unionist Denis Keatings was a 'tireless advocate for workers'


Trade unionist: Denis Keatings

Trade unionist: Denis Keatings

Trade unionist: Denis Keatings

A Belfast trade unionist has been described as a lifelong champion for working people following his death.

Denis Keatings passed away peacefully at his Andersonstown Crescent home on Friday.

A leading figure in Unison, he served as branch secretary of the Mater Hospital branch and more recently as joint regional convenor for Northern Ireland.

A statement from Unison said: "Denis was a lifelong champion for working people, constantly seeking to advance the cause of public service workers, whether within Unison or across Northern Ireland.

"He was loved, admired and respected by his fellow members, activists and friends for decades - in Unison and in NUPE (National Union of Public Employees).

"In that time, Northern Ireland went through the Troubles and an unprecedented period of change - but throughout Denis was a constant within our union. Always kind, and always decent.

"That kindness and decency always drove him to speak out on the causes that mattered most to him, because when he saw injustice, he could not stand by, he knew that to change things we have to act."

Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin said she was deeply saddened by the news.

"For many years Denis was a champion of workers in the health and social care sector, particularly in the Mater Hospital," she added.

"He was a tireless advocate for workers' rights and social justice and will be sadly missed by many.

"My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."

Belfast Telegraph