Northern Ireland

Inez McCormack: Tributes paid at her funeral

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Media captionBBC Newsline's Keiron Tourish reports from the funeral of trade unionist Inez McCormack.

Several hundred people are attending the funeral of veteran trade unionist and campaigner Inez McCormack in Londonderry.

The cortege left her home in Belmont Crescent and made its way to the city cemetery for burial.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness paid tribute to Ms McCormack's fight for social justice.

Many prominent trade unionists are also attending.

Ms McCormack began her trade union career in the late 1960s before rising to become the first female president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

She was born in Belfast in 1943 and spent most of her adult life fighting for the rights of those around her.

In the late 1960s she was prominent when the civil rights movement spilled onto the streets.

Image caption Ms McCormack became president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions

For decades she campaigned for the rights of workers - especially for the low paid - first with the union NUPE and then UNISON.

In 1998 she played an important behind-the-scenes role in the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement which led to the current political settlement at Stormont.

But it was her long fight for equality and human rights - especially for women - for which she will be most closely remembered.

Ms McCormack is survived by her husband, Vincent and daughter Anne.

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