David was an honourable man, an impressive politician and a charismatic leader, who dedicated all his time and effort in pursuit of a better society and a peaceful future for Northern Ireland and all it’s citizens. His true commitment to the Peace Process will never be known but is recognised and respected by all concerned not only here but in other conflict zones around the world. His inspirational qualities, generosity and compassion ensured that other fledgling peace processes including Sri Lanka, Kashmir and Columbia to name but a few have benefited from his knowledge and analysis.
David’s sense of social justice drove him to pursue a better quality of life for the most disadvantaged, deprived and vulnerable in our community. He turned no one away and worked tirelessly to achieve his best.
Loyalism has lost its most articulate spokesperson. Unionism has lost the most Progressive voice of this generation. Politics has lost a Statesman. Our Peace Process has lost its most optimistic advocate. And Ulster has lost a devoted son.
David Ervine was born on 21st July 1953, the son of a naval officer, he lived in East Belfast throughout his life.
Acutely aware of the gross mis-representation and under-representation of the Loyalist Working Class. A dedicated and hardworking member of the Party, he was instrumental in securing the Loyalist cease-fire of 13th October 1994 and passionately supported the virtues of peace and reconciliation for Northern Ireland.
David was elected as a Talks Delegate at the Forum Elections in May 1996 and in the subsequent Multi party talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement, David and the PUP team played a vital role.
David was elected as a local councillor for the Pottinger Ward of East Belfast in May 1997. He was also a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly from its beginnings in 1998 to his death in January 2007.
As a proponent of conflict transformation, David is widely recognised as a positive and valuable influence within the community. David is also held in high regard by conflict transformationists the world over: from Bosnia, Kashmir, Israel, Palestine, Sri Lanka to the Aboriginal Leaders of Australia all recognise the truly gifted and progressive work and legacy of David Ervine.
Senator George Mitchell said of David “There is not a more impressive politician in Northern Ireland”.
But David is best seen through his own words…
“Our divided society can be a better place to live. No one said it would be easy to make the necessary changes, and few thought it would take so long. I am a stayer and will not be deflected from offering the opportunity for new generations to live differently in the future. There are great opportunities for Northern Ireland, we just have to grasp them” – David Ervine
David Ervine Foundation: davidervine.com