I regret that I couldn’t attend Redmond’s funeral because I was opening a trade union learning centre in my constituency. Redmond would have understood. The centre will provide the basic training to large numbers of the next generation of trade unionists to fight the struggles ahead. It is like passing the baton from one generation to another. In many ways the centre symbolises all that Redmond was about. He was the complete cadre. He had the ability to analyse meticulously the political climate in which we were working, weigh up carefully the strategies best to be pursued and then creatively marshal the broadest alliance of forces that could be mustered. But skills like this are worthless without commitment and Redmond had a selfless dedication to the causes of Ireland, internationalism and socialism that made so many of us admire him and hold him in such high regard. I particularly remember with warmth Redmond’s role in the old times of the LCI and the various other organisations we were in or established when Irish freedom was a difficult cause to espouse. Redmond’s contribution to our movement will be remembered with immense respect but the man will also be remembered with great affection by all those of us that worked with him over the years. Go well old comrade.
John McDonnell MP 30/10/2009