Hanna comments on passing of Dr Éamon Phoenix

claire hanna

SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has paid tribute to historian Dr Éamon Phoenix following his passing.

South Belfast MP Claire Hanna said:

“I was deeply sad to learn of the death of the eminent historian Dr Éamon Phoenix at the early age of 69 after a short illness. Our deepest condolences go out to his dear wife Alice and his daughter.

“Éamon taught for years at Stranmillis University College and was renowned for his mesmeric and musical speaking voice. No man knew more about the history of Ireland, and particularly the North and the tragic historical circumstances that shaped the attitudes of all of us on this small piece of earth. He was recognised as being impartial and fair-minded by everyone and could travel anywhere without issue due to his recognition as a man of integrity and honesty.

“He was particularly in demand for centenary events over the last few years and he had his own opinions which he expressed quietly when asked and they included the futility of the use of violence and the missed opportunities by all sides to show generosity, especially in the early 20th century.

“Éamon has left a vast spoken word archive with the BBC, his ‘On This Day’ column in the Irish News, which stretched back to events reported from 50 to 100 years ago, will be an essential source for historians for years to come. I can personally testify that John Hume was an unstinting admirer of his work, particularly his magnum opus ‘Ulster Nationalism’.

“Is fíor a rá ní fheicfidh muid duine agus stáraí chomc eirmiúil arís. I measc Naomh na hÉireann agus ar dheis Dé go mbeidh a anam uasal.”


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