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Tuesday 28 February 2017

Tributes pour in for human rights activist Kevin Boyle

Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

Former President Mary Robinson last night led the tributes to one of the country's most respected human rights activists who has died.

Professor Kevin Boyle (65), one of the founders of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, died after a long illness. More recently he established the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUIG.

Ms Robinson told the Irish Independent last night that one of the most striking aspects of Mr Boyle was his intellect.

"Throughout the years I knew him I was always struck by his intellectual curiosity and his enthusiasm for all aspects of human rights," she said.

Mr Boyle served as Ms Robinson's special adviser during her time as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002.

He was founding director of the NGO Article 19 -- the global campaign against censorship -- and as a practising barrister he took numerous human rights issues to the British courts and to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

At Queen's University in the 1960s he was active in People's Democracy and the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. Galway West TD Michael D Higgins said "he was one of the inspirational figures behind the original civil rights movement".

Irish Independent

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