UNISON Northern Ireland

Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary offers condolences on the death of Sylvia Meehan

“UNISON is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sylvia Meehan, mother in law of our colleague and Head of Bargaining and Representation, Anne Speed and mother of our friend Niall Meehan. 


Women across Ireland who have struggled for equal pay, reproductive rights and rights at work owe her a great debt.  Inez McCormack and I had the privilege of working with her in pursuit of women’s rights and workers rights through both the trade union movement and the Women’s Movement.


Sylvia represents a generation of courageous women, North and South, who confronted discrimination at a time when to take a stand for equality and human rights was even more controversial than it is today. 


She was a leader in the Women’s Movement and tireless in her role as a trade union activist and as Chair of the ICTU Women’s Committee (ROI).  As the first CEO of the Employment Equality Agency she championed women’s rights not only in the Republic but in close in co-operation with the EOC NI.  


Sylvia was uncompromising about those rights still to be achieved.  She challenged us all to continue with her work.  Rest in peace Sister, we hear you.”