Durkan pays tribute to gay rights campigner

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Derry’s MP has spoken of his sadness at the death of PA MagLochlainn.

Mark Durkan says Mr MagLochlainn, a Dungiven native who was well known as a gay rights campaigner and who was a member of the SDLP for more than 30 years, was a “party colleague and friend.”

“P.A. had a warm good nature, deep empathy and an extensive interest in public affairs and world events.

“He brought acute logic to his analysis and wry humour to his argument.

“He believed passionately in education, democratic debate, respect for diversity and human rights.

“He gave a proud and distinctive contribution to the cause of gay rights and brought that same articulate understanding to challenge other prejudices and injustices as well.

“While resolutely proud in every aspect of his own identity he used self-deprecating humour and disarmed the presumptions of others with sensitive understanding wrapping his unapologetic logic.

“P.A. was a committed political activist who deplored violence and the denial of any human right.

“He was a great campaigner and he was great company.

“He loved humour and hated humbug.

“He was a democrat, an internationalist, a Christian citizen and a proudly gay, proudly Irish man who wanted to make a difference – for difference – and he did.”