Pavee Point has with sadness and in sympathy for her family and friends announced the passing away of Ronnie Fay, co-director of the organisation. The late Ms. Fay was also the chairperson of Community Work Ireland. Many have paid tribute this morning to her work.
Pavee Point said this morning:
“It is with great sadness and sorrow that Pavee Point has to tell you of the untimely passing of Ronnie Fay our Co-Director. Our sympathies today go to Philip, her children Jonathan, Veronica and Patrick, her brother and sisters, including our much appreciated colleague Oonagh, and extended family members. They have lost a partner, mother, sibling and steadfast friend.
“Ronnie will be a huge loss for us, for all we work with and for all concerned with Traveller and Roma human rights here and everywhere. She gave her life to promoting equality and social justice and led Pavee Point’s work locally, nationally and internationally with courage and conviction even during the last two years of COVID and including when she was already unwell.
“Ronnie was also our colleague and friend, and friend to Travellers and Roma, and those who stand in solidarity with Travellers and Roma, throughout the country as the concerned messages of the past weeks again indicate. As a community worker she believed in solidarity and support for others and in participating actively in shaping our country’s responses and initiatives with marginalised communities. And she made time to be an active camogie, hurling and sports enthusiast. May she rest in peace.”
Ms. Fay was the chairperson of Community Work Ireland which has paid tribute to a colleague, supporter and friend:
“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. It 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 out 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.”
More tributes have been paid to her online – many of which can be seen here: https://twitter.com/i/lists/94354433