Veteran Derry loyalist Glen Barr has passed away

The veteran Derry loyalist Glen Barr, who played a central role in the Ulster Workers' Council (UWC) strike of 1974, has passed away.

The Waterside man, who acted as Chair of the UWC Coordinating Committee, during the mass loyalist mobilisation against the Sunningdale Agreement in 1974, was 85.

Distrusted by sections of mainstream unionism throughout the 1970s and 1980s for his perceived left-wing positions, Mr. Barr once travelled to Libya as part of a three man Ulster Defence Association (UDA) delegation to meet members of the Muammar Gaddafi Government.

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He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly of 1973 as a Vanguard Unionist Party member for Derry and following the loyalist general strike, which led to that body’s collapse, was later elected to the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention (NICC), which sat for the first time in 1975.

He later became heavily involved in communtiy development and peace-building, establishing the International School for Peace Studies and the Maydown Ebrington Group.

A monument to the soldiers of the 16th Irish Division and 36th Ulster Division who fought alongside one another during World War One, which was unveiled in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, Irish President Mary McAleese, and King Albert of Belgium, in 1998, was his brainchild.

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