Former SDLP MLA dies

Sad news today that former SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh John Fee has passed away at the age of 43.

  • Hogan

    Sad news indeed.

    Even sadder is that the NIO press office also known as BBC NI online news neglects to mention one of the most tragic episodes in John’s short life i.e. that he was viciously beaten to within an inch of his life and left for dead by the Provisional IRA for daring to stand up to them in their heartland.

    Well i suppose we wouldn’t want to upset any executive ministers would we?

  • kisdo

    And you were there to see this event happen Hogan? RIP John.

  • Hogan

    What part of my point do you disagree with Kisdo?

    1: that he was viciously beaten to within an inch of his life?
    2: that he was left for dead?
    3: that it was carried out in an area where a dog couldn’t shit without the IRA’s permission?
    4: that the BBC report didn’t carry the incident to which i referred?

    Oh my god! the scales have just fallen from my eyes! I’ve just figured out who did it! IT MUST HAVE BEEN DIESEL SMUGGLERS???

  • Truth & Justice

    Rather sad to see Hogan you are try to score cheap political points over the death of a politician.

  • GavBelfast

    “Rather sad to see Hogan you are try to score cheap political points over the death of a politician.
    Posted by Truth & Justice on Nov 11, 2007 @ 05:33 PM”

    And another typically odd contribution from you in the odd-post May 8 world of yours.

    It’s sad news, he sounds like he was a very dedicated and brave voice in a difficult environment, especially hostile on one particular occasion when the politcal bigotry his uncle once spoke about unleashed its hatred upon him. Condolences to his family and friends, it’s a tragically young age to die.

  • snakebrain

    Rather ironic that you call yourself Truth and Justice..

  • Hogan


    As the world re-writes history and tells us that Martin and Ian were the true peace-makers all along and that parties like the SDLP and should “grow up” i felt it important to call the beeb on neglecting to mention one of the most signicant points about the late John Fee’s poltical career.

    I don’t know whether it was to protect political sensitivities or not? but i am not the first to accuse particlulary the online branch of the beeb’s news section of following a peculiar line on matters poltically sensitive. My first point was not to score political points but to question the integrity of the journalism surrounding the event. My second point was in reponse to someone questioning my knowledge of the event, to which i have limited but since when has that stopped the juggernaut of sluggerotoole?.

    I refute any allegation that my points besmirch John’s memory. His bravery and courage should haunt those who attacked him for the rest of their days.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Complaints should be referred upwards about the editor of BBC-NI Online, rather than made to him.
    The website’s clear editorial bias since his appointment has become a farce. It’s high time the BBC was informed that it has also become a liability.

  • my daddies bigger than yours

    so sdlp supporters try and score political points over the sad death of one of its ex-members.
    Nothing new there.

  • Hogan

    The point about parties like the sdlp is not who’s ‘daddy’s bigger than who’s’ or indeed who’s can murder more of their neighbours in a 30 year period for that matter?

    The point so eloquently missed by your both your nomenclure and your point is that it didn’t matter to people like John Fee and Seamus Mallon whether or not somebody was bigger (or more bloddthirsty) than them. All that mattered was that they could stand up for truth and justice wherever and whenever it was required.

    However your comment was both so ridiculous and offensive that i will not be commenting on this thread after this in case his family or friends have the misfortune to read it in the coming weeks. I recommend others do the same.

  • jone

    Care to elaborate SRR? Any evidence/ examples?

  • Rubicon

    John had outstanding courage, integrity and was never silenced by bullies.

    The incident Hogan refers to has been accurately described. John’s face always bore the scars but he never spoke much of it.

    Hogan, you rightly refer to John’s bravery and courage but it neither started nor stopped with that incident. He was a passionate nationalist, firmly committed to peace and peaceful methods, an extremely able champion of his chosen political cause and an able master of political debate and negotiation.

    His colleague Dominic recalls John’s generosity and that too was very true.

    I knew John for far fewer years than I’d have liked. On getting the news of his death I wondered how he’d like to be remembered. I certainly don’t think it’d be for being a Provie victim.

    A credit to Irish nationalism – certainly! He deserves that – but he was also Collette’s husband, friend and closest partner and at this time it is perhaps her John would prefer we give our thoughts.

  • my daddies bigger than yours

    The truth hurts.

  • I knew John personally and worked with him for several years. He was intelligent and courageous. It is a fact that he was very seriously beaten by republicans in South Armagh as it is a fact that he stood firm against physical force republicanism his entire career. John was his own man and that’s what I will remeber most fondly about him.

    He has been taken from this world too young and Irish politics and the SDLP will remember him with great fondness.

    May he rest in peace

    ps; for anyone interested in leaving a message of condolence please feel free to do so on and I will ensure they are passed on to his family.

  • Intelligence Insider

    While never agreeing politically with John I always found him to be a refreshingly friendly and honest individual. Politics will be worse off without him and people like him. My deepest sympathy goes to his wife and family.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s come to a pretty pass when we can’t pay our respects to the dead without it erupting into a verbal donnybrook.

  • disgusted at hogan

    I am waiting to see hogans proof that john fee was beaten up by the ira. It was never proved to be true unless he can prove otherwise. Typical idiots trying to score points in any disgusting way they can.

  • kisdo

    “What part of my point do you disagree with Kisdo?

    1: that he was viciously beaten to within an inch of his life?
    2: that he was left for dead?
    3: that it was carried out in an area where a dog couldn’t shit without the IRA’s permission?
    4: that the BBC report didn’t carry the incident to which i referred?”

    Number 3 of course.
    surely you dont think a pet dog would give a crap for the IRA. Your comments are sad and demeaning to all the victims of violence.

  • Shore Road Resident

    BBC-NI has included details of the IRA assault in its bulletin but still no mention on the website.
    So much for “cross-platform” reporting.
    The last equally obvious example of republican bias on the website was a report on a British army assessment of the troubles that had been lifted almost directly from a Pat Finucane Centre press release – and which subsequently had to be toned down on air.

  • Tkmaxx

    I have known John Fee from about 1979 long pre dating our political history. We were once friends, colleagues and indeed at times rivals. He was an intelligent man who was also brave bothhis politcal and personal battles. Like the late SDLP stalwart in Newry and Armagh -Mary McKeown he loved theatre and was a protege of the late Sean Hollywood. To my sorrow and shame I regret not going to see him over recent months as I had discussed with former work colleagues in the SDLP. My heartfelt smypathy goes to Colette his wife and to his family. There is no political scoring to be made. He lived a good life, loved his wife, family, Church and country -such people dont die in vain. Rest in peace, John. TK

  • John showed courage and determination in the face of the most dangerous of opposition, putting the needs of the people of south Armagh at the top of his agenda despite the personal threat to himself.

    Rest In Peace.

  • harry

    i really have no time for the SDLP. i believe thay retarded irish nationalism for years and years.

    however. john fee did speak out for what he saw as wrong. i always falt that he and seamus mallon were always more critical of the republican movement and more ready accept the lies of the Brit army.

    that aside. john fee did have the courage of his convictions.

    i do think it is important that it is remembered that the republican movement,or close associates of it, did beat him within an inch of his life.

    this is a fact.
    and to think these are the type of boys smoozing round stormont now.

    the nationalist people fought for to get rid the dictators of the unionist governments and to think they have been replaced with the dictators of sf.

  • Aquifer

    There are few who have it in them to be brave every hour of every day.

    Others manage minutes, running away.

  • I was really quite shattered to read this. I didn’t even know he was ill. 43 is far too young to die.

    RIP John.

  • Danny O’Connor

    I had the priviledge of knowing John.My deepest sympathy to his family. May God Have mercy on His soul.oiche mhaith mo chara


    The weasel words from those who raise question marks over the beating John received by PIRA is nothing new. It has been going on since that awful day.

    Fee had more courage than anyone else I’ve met in politics. He spoke without fear or favour. A real loss to northern politics. RIP.

  • Free Agent

    A bright spark has gone out. He shone like a star amongst the grey suits at stormont.

    His passing is a sad loss for all in this land.

  • John Power

    John was a courageous and generous man. The Assembly was the worse for his loss in 2003. For all the great political debate that John was so able at, I’ll miss him for his humour, humanity and commonsense.

    Northern Ireland has lost a compassionate and intelligent man. He said it as it was and we’ve not many politicians like that. He did this when he knew he’d no benefit to gain.

    South Armagh has lost a great politician, a determined nationalist – but a greater human being.

    My thoughts and prayers go to Collette and John’s family.

  • pete whitcroft

    John was a good and sound man, it is terrible news to hear of his death.
    I spoke to him many times and found him to be a truly decent man.