Mandate is deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of our brother Mel Corry yesterday afternoon after a short battle with Covid.
Mel had been working for Trademark Belfast as a tutor on Mandate’s education courses since 2013 where our staff and our members had the pleasure of learning from a trade union stalwart.
Members loved his dry wit and twinkle in the eye. Mel was working class. Therefore he acutely felt and understood the struggles met by workers and their families. Through his union work it was obvious he felt a deep affinity with our members and they with him. He was an important part of their struggles and journey through life. His life was a life well lived and he will leave an irreplaceable hole both in our hearts as well as in our trade union movement.
Mel spoke at our 2014 conference in Killarney where this picture was taken. He spoke about the great inequities and social injustices we faced, and continue to face. When we arrived the morning the conference was to start, Mel was already there setting up a stall where he could recommend books to our members and activists to help them on their learning journey. That was Mel. A trade unionist, socialist and educator every minute of every day.
When Mandate became involved in the Right2Water campaign, we immediately made contact with Trademark Belfast and asked them to involve themselves in the campaign. Through Unite the Union they provided educational courses to water activists across the country which gave them a good grounding and understanding about the privatisation agenda that was and is destroying living standards for workers and their families across the island of Ireland.
Understated, knowledgeable, empathetic and communist. He had a vision for a better future and he spent his life searching for it and fighting for it every single day.
All of us in Mandate wish to extend our sincere condolences to Mel’s family, friends, his comrades in Trademark Belfast and all who are impacted by this terrible loss.
Thank you Mel for all your hard work on behalf of our class. You will be sorely missed.
We all are better for having known you. Rest In Power comrade.