As you know our dear friend and colleague Kevin Fitzpatrick passed away on Thursday the 14th of January. His funeral will take place Friday 29th January at 9.30am a mass will be held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Mumbles Swansea followed by cremation at Margam Crematorium Port Talbot at 12 noon.

Below we have posted tributes to Kevin written and posted by his many friends and colleagues.

Messages from Commissioners who served with Kevin on the Disability Rights Commission

“We will all miss you, Kevin.  A stalwart in the fight for the dignity and rights of disabled people, as well as a fine colleague at the Disability Rights Commission and more generally. .  And with whom can I now also have good humoured but stimulating conversations about Wittgenstein, beer and Manchester United?  A very sad loss.  Bob Niven”

Bob Niven”

This is sad news indeed. When I last spoke to Kevin he thought he was in remission. He was a remarkable man who had a remarkable journey. He became disabled through a stray bullet when he was in Northern Ireland.  He worked for the Shaw Trust but left because he disagreed with many of their policies.  When he joined the DRC he had limited campaigning experience but what a campaigner he became! He brought his intellectual rigor to the DRC and we all benefitted from that ­ Ludwig Wittgenstein will never be the same! In his academic career he worked on the assessment of employability of disabled people but thought there was a negative hidden agenda and moved on. He was right, of course. He was always a man of principle. And of course in recent years he has had an international profile in raising the case against assisted suicide. Yet again his intellectual power combined with his humanity made him an excellent advocate.  He did this while coping with his cancer.  Had he survived I think he would have added to his list of achievements.  He will certainly be missed.

Bert Massie

I have really admired Kevin’s intellectual capacity, and the deep thought he put in to the arguments he made for or against issues.  He struggled valiantly to help me understand Plato’s philosophical teachings, to assist me with my course.  That was so typical of Kevin, because he helped so many people in a quiet unpretentious way.  I remember his humanity when talking to him about many of the campaigns and issues he pursued, always thinking of others challenges and only sharing his own with a chosen few because he was a private man in many ways.  Finally, I smile when remembering chewing the fat with him one night at the Novotel in Euston, in the DRC Commission days, something about the battle of the Boyne, the Irish rebellion, etc.  Kevin decided to have a cigar with his malt whisky, and when presented with a large tray of hugely expensive cigars, he chose what he thought was the cheapest one, just £7, and nearly fainted when the bill came and he had missed a 3 and the cigar was £37!  He said he would have smoked it more slowly if he had known.

Elaine Noad

I remember and treasure Kevin’s kindness and generosity to me when I joined the DRC and his efforts to ensure that I was always included in discussions outside of the meetings. He will be sadly missed by his friends and family but also by disabled people for whom he fought so valiantly. Susan Daniels

Susan Daniels

I will long remember the enjoyment he had in his philosophical locking horns with Bob and the enjoyment too which we lesser mortals had in listening to them. A great man in so many ways.

John Hougham

Kevin: nice guy who always made time for others: RIP

Stephen Alambritis

I’m so sorry to hear of Kevin’s death. He was a pleasure to work with and combined humour and warmth with intellectual rigour in ways that meant his contributions were great. What a loss to disabled people’s activism for change

Liz Sayce

I’m so sorry to hear this news, I had no idea. Although I didn’t know Kevin as well as most of you, what stood out for me on top of his obvious intellect, was his integrity and sense of fun. He will be sadly missed.

Tim Escudier

Thank you for including me amongst those you have notified concerning the passing of Kevin last night. As I was invited to attend the DRC lunch in May (which you unfortunately were unable to be present) I had the opportunity to meet up with Kevin again after some 7/8 years. A very pleasant re-acquaintance with him recollecting some of the  issues we had “chased” together, including sporting moments! I had been aware of his health concerns for a long time, indeed from the early days. It is sad and poignant from my point of view as my first wife died in Swansea 40 years ago next week. Nevertheless he was able to make a considerable contribution to the causes he espoused and cherished.  His friendship will endure-he not be forgotten.

Peter Humphrey
This was a great shock – I had no idea.  I’m glad that I had the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with Kevin after some years at our DRC lunch last May when we had a lively conversation about assisted dying.  If you are able, please pass on my condolences.

This was a great shock – I had no idea.  I’m glad that I had the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with Kevin after some years at our DRC lunch last May when we had a lively conversation about assisted dying.  If you are able, please pass on my condolences.

Colin Low

The last time I saw Kevin was about a year ago when we met up for dlc reunion, he seemed quite fine, it just shows what life is all about.  I never ever felt like I had a learning disability with Kevin, he always spoke to me like an adult.  One of the lessons I learnt from Kevin was when  Burt asked me if their was an injection to get rid of my learning disability and I said no, I asked Kevin if he would have an injection and he said yes, he do anything to get rid of his pain.  I soon learnt when I had kidney stones, I then realised what Kevin was on about I too would do anything  to get rid of my pain.  Thanks for letting us know from

Eve Bennett

Messages on Facebook 

Alex Schadenberg from Canada,

“My good friend and colleague, Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, passed away today. I will truly miss this great man who cared about others and who was intellectually clear. Kevin worked over the past year as the Director of EPC International and he founded HOPE Ireland.

Jane CampbellIt is with great sadness that I am writing to tell our that our dear friend and colleague, Kevin Fitzpatrick died last night in Swansea, surrounded by his family. You may have already heard about this tragic news but Kevin specifically asked me to let his NDY UK friends know when the time came. Kevin has been very private about his battle with cancer as he didn’t want others to worry about him or let his illness detract from his tireless work to prevent the legalisation of assisted suicide. Selfless to the end.  

It is with great sadness that I am writing to tell our that our dear friend and colleague, Kevin Fitzpatrick died last night in Swansea, surrounded by his family. You may have already heard about this tragic news but Kevin specifically asked me to let his NDY UK friends know when the time came. Kevin has been very private about his battle with cancer as he didn’t want others to worry about him or let his illness detract from his tireless work to prevent the legalisation of assisted suicide. Selfless to the end.  I know Kevin will be greatly missed by all Kill the Bill campaigners. Missed for, among other attributes, his larger-than-life personality, intellectual rigour, vitality, humour and genuine warmth. A sad loss to all of us, and the thousands of disabled people’s lives he touched as he fought for our humanity to be valued equally, no matter what our impairment or illness. The “NO Legalisation” has lost one of it’s greatest advocates.

This time last year, a bunch of us NDYUKers were outside the House of Lords protesting against the Falconer AS Bill. Some of us were physically there and 80 more people who couldn’t attend instead gave their words and images to be used in giant yellow placards. It was a powerful and effective demo and I shall cherish the memory even more because I got to share the picket line with Kevin Fitzpatrick who many of you will now know, died in the last few hours.

Kevin’s passionate opposition to AS, his philosophical understanding of the issues, his humour, intelligence, optimism, energy, sense of justice and of course, his great company are some of the many things that I am going to miss.
I am so proud of Kevin’s decision to keep his private life private. During the past year, he decided that he didn’t want to be the pin up for disabled people’s opposition to AS – despite the immense pressure from the media to talk about our impairments and illnesses to gain precious column inches and air time. He was a man of great integrity.
Kevin was a bloody lovely man whose life and death epitomised the true meaning of ‘dignity’.

Catherine Garrod
Oh that is so very sad. I had so many interesting conversations with Kevin. That’s such a sad loss for our community and for the disabled people’s movement.

Phil Friend

Such sad news. An important light has gone out of our lives. I will really miss Kevin.

Paul Saunders from Care Not Killing has written a tribute to Kevin Fitzpatrick here is the link  Tribute to Kevin Fitzpatrick

Tanni Grey-Thompson

Thank you so much for letting me know….  I first met Kevin in my early 20’s – he was the first ‘political’ disabled person I met.  He left a lasting impression on me
Messages on Twitter

‘The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition: ‘We mourn the death of Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, who was the director of EPC International, the founder of HOPE Ireland and a leader of Not Dead Yet UK. One of Kevin’s best articles is: Opposition to euthanasia is based on evidence of disability discrimination.’

‘Care Not Killing: remembers a great advocate, campaigner & friend.’

Very sad news, one of our strongest & best campaigners has died. Kevin Fitzpatrick helped set up @notdeadyetuk We’ve lost a great friend.’

We’ve lost one of our brightest stars’

‘ Kevin Fitzpatrick – Staunch, warm, passionate in fighting euthanasia.’ Wendy Wicks

‘Our dear friend & fellow fighter Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick has died’ Care Not Killing

‘So sad. A huge loss’. Neil Crowther

‘Sad to learn of the death of anti-euthanasia campaigner Kevin Fitzpatrick. A powerful and articulate advocate’ Disability Now magazine       ‘Sad news. Kevin was a great man’ Robert Colquhoun

‘Sad news. Kevin was a great man’ Robert Colquhoun ‘We are very sorry indeed to hear the news about Kevin’  Breakthrough UK

‘We are very sorry indeed to hear the news about Kevin’  Breakthrough UK

Caroline Simons (lawyer): ‘Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick OBE was an inspiration. It was a privilege to have met him. RIP’

Neil Fox: ‘Kevin Fitzpatrick of Hope Ireland promoting a culture of life and empowerment for all. #disability #promotehope RIP’

Tracy Proudlock: ‘The world had gained much from his knowledge and insight. RIP’

Hope Ireland have written this message:

We are saddened to report the untimely death of our founder and friend, Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick. Kevin was a tireless supporter of disability rights, an articulate and gifted advocate and a dear friend to all who knew him. He will be missed. Hope Ireland extends its condolences to his family and many friends. May he rest in peace. We will honor his legacy by continuing his campaign to protect the most vulnerable in our society and thank you for your support for our work.

 

 

Showing 6 comments
  • Beverley Agard Owen
    Reply

    I have worked at Swansea University for a number of years and although did not personally know Dr Fitzpatrick I would like to express my deepest sympathy to his family and friends on their loss.
    Reading the tributes from his friends and colleagues, highlights a missed opportunity for us who didn’t meet him.

    • NotDeadYetUK
      Reply

      Thank you Beverley. Kevin’s work will continue and maybe you can help support us with that.

  • Sue Melling, Swansea
    Reply

    Very sad to hear of Kevin Fitzpatrick’s passing. Deepest sympathy to all his family. Sue Melling, Swansea

    • NotDeadYetUK
      Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

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    Reply

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    • NotDeadYetUK
      Reply

      Thank you so much. Your feedback is much appreciated

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