Belfast Telegraph

DUP's Gregory Campbell leads tributes to ex-UDA chief Glenn Barr who has died aged 75

MP Gregory Campbell has described former UDA leader Glenn Barr, who has died aged 75, as a 'tireless campaigner'.

Mr Barr,  who died at Altnagelvin Hospital, in Londonderry, played a key role in the Ulster Workers Council strike of 1974.

In recent years he was involved in reconciliation projects in the North West.

The strike caused the collapse of the Sunningdale powersharing administration, due to the disruption it caused.

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Ulster Workers Council Strike. 28/5/1974

Mr Campbell said: "Glenn Barr, or 'Glenny' as he was affectionately known, was moving on from his political involvement as I moved into mine in the late 1970s.

"He worked hard at cross community work helping to build capacity in working class unionist areas. Glenn was a tireless campaigner and vigorous in defence of his own views.

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The Ulster Workers' Council Strike

"Less than three weeks ago, we shared many reminiscences at a family wedding, he will be very sadly missed by us all."

The DUP MP added: "My deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Isa and his children and grandchildren."

During the Troubles, Mr Barr was a UDA leader for the North West area and visited Libya for talks with Colonel Gaddafi as part of a UDA delegation.

In the 1970s he became a politician in the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party.

In recent years, he became an advocate for peace and reconciliation and was involved in community work, including setting up an employment and training scheme in Derry for local young people.

He also helped set up the Messines project which used the experiences of soldiers in the First World War to call for peaceful resolution to conflicts.

DUP councillor Drew Thompson described Mr Barr as a man with a "great vision."

The Londonderry representative said: "I had received the news last week that Glenn wasn't well and had been taken into hospital, then I got a phone call around 9am this morning that he had passed away.

"I've known Glenn for over 50 years, back when he was only a young man, and a close friend of the family.

"He was very involved in community programmes. He developed a community based organisation where young people with no jobs or trades could come to see what was available to them.

"The man had a great vision to bring people together."

Councillor Thompson added: " I had a lot of time for him.

"He was a true leader always looking at ways to promote peace and reconciliation and encouraging young people into employment."

 

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