Tayside and Central Scotland

Jimmy Halliday: Funeral of former SNP leader held in Broughty Ferry

Jimmy Halliday
Image caption Mr Halliday became leader of the SNP while still in his 20s

Senior SNP figures have gathered in Dundee for the funeral of the party's former leader Jimmy Halliday.

Mr Halliday died on 3 January, at the age of 85.

The humanist service took place at Sturrock Comb and Davidson funeral directors in Broughty Ferry.

Finance Secretary John Swinney and the leader of Dundee City Council, Ken Guild, were among those who paid tribute to the man credited with paving the way for the SNP's growth.

Jimmy Halliday was in his 20s when he became party leader in 1956, a post he held for four years.

Local tributes

He was a candidate for the SNP in Stirling and Falkirk in 1955 and 1959 and also for West Fife in 1970 and was chair of the Scots Independent newspaper.

A number of local MPs and MSPs attended the service to pay their respects for the former leader.

Among them was Shona Robison, MSP for Dundee City East, Mike Weir, MP for Angus and Stewart Hosie, MP for Dundee East.

Mr Hosie said: "Jimmy was a positive influence on Scottish politics both through his early leadership of the SNP and his significant role with the SI newspaper and through his own personal life as a teacher, author and elder-statesman.

"Jimmy's legacy to the party nationally in terms of his vision and his commitment is incalculable."

First Minister Alex Salmond, who was unable attend due to First Minister's Questions at Holyrood, said Mr Halliday's "wit and wisdom" would be greatly missed.

Party pioneer

Mr Salmond said: "Jimmy Halliday became leader of the SNP while still in his 20s in 1956 and guided the party through four crucial years preparing for the expansion of the 1960s.

"When he became chairman in 1956, the SNP had only two candidates in the 1955 election of which he was one. A few years later the party was contesting every seat in Scotland and winning by-elections.

"He has played a crucial role as the guiding hand of the Scots Independent newspaper which has been the only journal advocating the cause of independence for Scotland."

He added: "Jimmy's wit and wisdom will be much missed across the ranks of the wider national movement. My thoughts are with his wife Olive, his sons and family."

Mr Halliday was born in Wemyss Bay in 1927 and was educated at Greenock High School and Glasgow University.

He taught in many schools across the country including Uddingston Grammar School and Dunfermline High School before becoming lecturer in history at Dundee College of Education in 1967. In 1979 he became the principal lecturer in history, a post he occupied until 1987.

He lived in Dundee, where he remained an active member of the party.

He is survived by his wife Olive and two sons, David and Gavin.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites