I am the toddler in the profile photo. I was 14 months old at the time. This my grandmother. She passed in the early hours of February 5, 2017.
Growing up in west Belfast was not the easiest. Being too old to raise a child wasn't either. Through her commitment to my education, to a discipline I never fully gained, to equality and justice, she has turned me into the human rights lawyer I am today. She gave me my first pound when I was 8, and I donated it to Amnesty International. I've been practicing law for 13 years now, and have never stopped supporting the organization.
There are so many memories I could share, but it's quite difficult right now. I may update the page as it goes along. Renee was a tough woman, born the same year as the Titanic, losing her sailor husband to cancer, but with an unflinching determination to have her authority respected, an unparalleled sense of humour, and despite the fact she quit school age 12, a wonderful love for poetry. ("No one needs a degree to understand Yeats", she once snapped at me).
As many reached out in love and support in this difficult time, I'm asking, instead of flowers, for a donation that would go to Amnesty International, to promote access to truth, justice, and human rights for all. Another organization, not registered here but just as worthy of support is the Pat Finucane Centre; you can donate through PayPal here https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=DVZ0DvhbFfTenZeUHh_mmU_o7wX2xeGtmX_N0jVotf-1C0kZdhe-vIxqZuC&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8d333dc9aadeed3fe0b5b299d55fd35542