Newry.ie

The Funeral of Burren native P.J. Bradley will take place today at 12 noon in St Mary’s Church, Burren. 

P.J. Bradley
P.J. Bradley

The former SDLP South Down MLA passed away on Wednesday at Southern Area Hospice. P.J. was a Councillor on the former Newry and Mourne District Council from 1981 until 2005 and a member of the Assembly for South Down from 1998 to 2011.

Mr Bradley established an Estate Agents business in Warrenpoint now run by son Martin. His daughter Sinead is also an SDLP member and MLA in the 2016 Assembly. PJ was also a member of Burren GAC and a keen follower of the Club and Down GAA. He was also a local author having only recently completed another book on the local history of Burren. He is survived by his wife Leontia and eight children.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood commented “It is with the deepest sadness that I learned of the death of our friend and colleague PJ Bradley this morning. 

“Politics was in PJ’s blood. A fierce advocate for his local community in Burren and for all communities across South Down, his compassionate and considered way will be deeply missed by all who knew him. PJ’s contribution to Ireland and his life long work across the island to develop and support the peace process distinguishes him as a patriot.

“I also want to send my deepest condolences to PJ’s family, especially his daughter Sinead who has taken up her father’s mantle as a champion for the people of South Down. This is a sad day for the SDLP but I know our members in South Down and the entire community will be a pillar of strength for Sinead and her family at this difficult time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam Uasal.

Party colleague Margaret Ritchie also commented “PJ was a man of considerable political fortitude and a stalwart who firmly believed in grassroots politics and in working directly with and for his community in Burren and Ballyholland. PJ put the needs of the community in Burren, Ballyholland and Warrenpoint first. He had a forensic detail of the local community and of their needs and requirements as well as the constituency of South Down. PJ had an abiding interest in local heritage, agriculture, rural affairs and all things Irish. He was a stout defender of all the people in South Down - right across the community."

Adding her condolences Sinn Féin's Caitríona Ruane said  "I was saddened to hear of the death of former South Down MLA, PJ Bradley. 

One of P.J Bradley's last appearances at the unveiling of the Patrick Rankin sculpture in Newry. Photograph: NewRayPics
One of P.J Bradley's last appearances (second from left) at the unveiling of the Patrick Rankin sculpture in Newry. Photograph: NewRayPics

"I worked with him in the Assembly over a number of terms and he was a dedicated representative and advocate for South Down. 

"I want to express my condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time."

Louth TD Declan Breathnach who worked with Mr Bradley at part of the Memorandum of Understanding between Louth and Down also sent his condolences to PJ’s wife, Leontia, and their family and friends.

“PJ was a proud Down man, and above all else, a proud Irish man.

“Elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for the SDLP in 1998, having previously been a member of Newry and Mourne District Council since 1981, PJ not only gave a lifetime of service to his community, but reached out across the political divide to build bridges with people from different faiths and backgrounds.  He was a well-respected member of the business community in Warrenpoint and a committed Gael.

“He worked tirelessly for his community in Burren and Ballyholland.  PJ put the needs of the community in Burren, Ballyholland and Warrenpoint first.

“I worked with him at part of the Memorandum of Understanding between Louth and Down and can say that PJ was absolutely fearless in his commitment to achieving an end to violence in the North.”

“PJ was incredibly proud of his family, and I have no doubt that he took enormous pleasure seeing his daughter Sinead elected to the Assembly last year to represent South Down.

“He worked hard over many years to ensure open lines of communication between successive Irish Governments and had deep and abiding friendships with many people in the Fianna Fáil party.  He was selected as a member of the All-Party Consultation Group on Commemorations and I know that he took great personal satisfaction from this work and the hugely successful 1916 Centenary Commemoration events.

“Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam dhílis.”

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