SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has paid tribute to the ‘sterling service’ provided by Pat Ramsey in Londonderry for more than 30 years as the Foyle MLA steps down from the Assembly on health grounds.
Mr Durkan said: “As a party member, councillor and MLA, Pat Ramsey has given sterling service to the SDLP, the people of Derry and wider politics.
“He has had a constant work rate with a great level of personal engagement on a range of issues – even when contending with personal health constraints.
“I know that Pat has been finding the physical toll of cycles of meetings and all the travel involved harder and harder given the effects of his condition.
“Through all this he has coped with great commitment to working for the concerns and causes that mattered to so many people.
“It is a mark of the fortitude he has shown in such active and personal commitment to public life that his condition and prospective treatment have now forced him to step back.
“I have worked with Pat since before he was a councillor, on Council, in John Hume’s office, in the Assembly, the party and numerous campaigns.
“He brings a dogged energy to his work, along with a deep empathy for people whose rights and interests he is championing.
“I also recall Pat’s very good year as Mayor where he again showed an ability to reach across the community and engage at every level of life in the city. His enduring commitment to people with disabilities and to young people were a hallmark of his mayoralty – establishing the concept of the Junior Mayor that allowed so many young people, including those with learning disabilities, a chance to serve with civic pride and purpose.
“While his strong personal qualities and political application will now not be available to the Assembly, I know that Pat will remain involved in party, community and civic life in the city which he has so proudly represented, even as he copes with the challenges that limit his physical ability.”