It is with the deepest sadness that Community Work Ireland announces the loss of our Chairperson, colleague, supporter and friend Ronnie Fay.
Throughout her life as a deeply committed community worker and feminist, Ronnie championed and led campaigns nationally and internationally for the rights of Travellers and Roma. She will be remembered for her decades long work with Pavee Point but her commitment to equality and rights permeated every part of her life.
She was a leader in the community sector, always working in solidarity and bringing her intellect, commitment and experience to bear in a broad range of settings and on a wide range of issues affecting those who experience the highest levels of poverty, social exclusion and inequality in our society.
Never one to shy from a challenge, Ronnie spoke truth to power yet firmly believed in the potential and possibility of collaboration, negotiation and honest dialogue with duty bearers.
As an extremely active member of Community Work Ireland since 1984 and as our current Chair, she brought clarity, focus, guidance, constructive critique and direction to our work in a supportive and ever generous way.
The community sector has lost a leader. Her loss will leave a void that won’t easily – if ever – be filled, but we will strive to carry through Ronnie’s vision and desire for a country and a world that places human rights and social justice at their core.
We extend our deep condolences to her husband Philip Watt, to her children, Veronica, Jonathan and Paddy, her brother and sisters, her colleagues in Pavee Point, to the Traveller community and to all who knew and loved Ronnie as we did.
We will miss her deeply.
Ní fheicimid a leithead arís.