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Tenth anniversary of David Ervine’s death remembered

A wreath is laid at the mural dedicated to David Ervine in east Belfast.

The 10th anniversary of the death of PUP leader David Ervine has been marked in a ceremony at his memorial in east Belfast.

A piper played as a wreath was laid at the Albertbridge Road mural dedicated to the late politician.

David Ervine was synonymous with working class unionism - he served as a councillor for east Belfast and also as an MLA at Stormont until he died in January 2007, aged 57.

The one-time member of the UVF was instrumental in bringing about the loyalist ceasefire of October 1994 and was once described as "one of the most eloquent politicians in Northern Ireland".

Archive picture of the late PUP leader David Ervine. Credit: Presseye

PUP deputy leader Cllr John Kyle said there is still a huge gap left in politics by his passing.

“David was a passionate politician who really cared for the people. He cared about the issues that he was dealing with,” he said.

“He was a very honest man, sometimes uncomfortably honest, and I think sometimes that contrasts with what we’re living with today, and thirdly he was a man that looked for solutions, he wasn’t just content to highlight the problems, he wasn’t a complainer, he was continually looking to work with people, to reach out to people to find solutions that improved a lot [for] the common man.”

Mr Ervine's widow, Jeanette Ervine, said it was heart-warming to see those who turned out to remember him.

“For me 10 years on I just can’t believe it, as many others [can’t],” she said.

“I just miss him so much in my life as people here do, because David was positive and would have always drawn something positive out of the negative, and I think he’s just very much missed in political circles.

“In his political life he did make a difference and changed hearts and minds. I still think he would have been carrying on and doing what he done [if he was here today].

“Many people were still in that mind-set of war, he talked to them extensively. There are some you will never change their mind and they will always have that attitude but in the majority, he made things different and I’m proud of him for that.”

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