This week I attended the funeral of TC. I didn’t know TC on a personal level but I knew who he was and what he represented. When I heard that he passed away after his long battle with cancer I felt somewhat obliged like many others to attend his funeral and to pay tribute to him.

TC is a former IRA volunteer, ex-POW and a political activist. Like many in recent years he drifted away from the Republican movement and Sinn Fein due to the direction that Sinn Feins political leadership was leading the movement.

In recent years he has been associated with the 1916 societies. He has always fought for those incarcerated in British Gaols and always stayed true to what he believed in. He was a very intelligent man and was able to articulate his beliefs very well. Even though he was battling cancer he could still be seen at many a protest and picket.

TC spent several decades in prison and even in recent years he spent several days in Maghaberry. This was due to a refusal to pay a fine for taking part in a protest against Orange marches past Ardoyne.

The morning of his funeral was one that was very damp and dismal. Despite this people came out in their hundreds to pay their respect. His coffin was flanked by an IRA guard of honour while his coffin was followed by around forty black and whites. This was a very fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to his country. The coffin was brought to Milltowns Republican plot where Paul Duffy gave the oration and read out a statement from current IRA POWs before TC was brought to Roselawn.

At the funeral you could see representatives of every republican organisation. This is just testament to the how highly people thought of and respected TC.

Although many people might share a different political outlook, analysis or world view of TC there is no doubt that TC should be respected for being dedicated to what he believed in and fighting for that cause his whole life and right up until his death. TC should be an inspiration to all political activists for his dedication regardless of what their political belief is.