A loyalist bands forum that’s been involved in several cross-community initiatives, including participation in fleadhanna ceoil in Derry and Sligo over recent years, have cited the late Glen Barr as an inspiration.
In a statement, the Londonderry Bands Forum (LBF) said members were saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Barr, who died after a short illness on Tuesday.
“Although not specifically involved with the bands movement ‘Glenny’ influenced and encouraged the outlook and approaches of various groups from all sides of the political divide.
“His outward looking vision and ability to connect with groups and people was one of his great strengths,” the LBF stated.
Referring to his roles within the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and as Chair of the Ulster Workers’ Council Coordinating Committee in the 1970s, the LBF said: “When at times of great tension strength was needed, he put himself at the forefront of the resistance that was required at that time, a fact that should never be forgotten.”
However, the forum noted his later commitment to reconciliation in the North West and further afield.
“In later years when a different, more pragmatic and conciliatory approach was required, he again was at the forefront of the leadership challenges.
“We would like to pass on our thoughts to his wife Isa and the family circle at this difficult time for them,” the LBF concluded.