Statement by Alan Kelly TD on the death of Mervyn Taylor
23 September 2021
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Northern Ireland
Labour Party Leader Alan Kelly has extended his sympathy to the family and friends of former Labour Party TD and Minister, Mervyn Taylor who has passed away, and paid tribute to his radical and reforming record as a legislator.
Deputy Kelly said:
“I want to express my great sadness on learning today of the death of our former colleague Mervyn Taylor who was a reforming and progressive voice in Irish politics.
“Mervyn changed Ireland for the better and brought through the divorce referendum in 1995, finally granting people the right to re-marry.
“He was a principled politician of the left, and throughout his career he left a great mark on our party and country with his distinguished record of service.
“Mervyn was a champion of Labour values and represented the people of Dublin South West with an unbroken record of service as a TD for the constituency from 1981, until he stood down in 1997. Within our party he served as Party Chair and Whip among many other roles. His legal background informed his Ministerial work which was radical and reforming.
“He took on a huge legislative programme of work during his time as Minister for Equality and Law Reform and he also made history as Ireland’s first Jewish Cabinet Minister. His work focused on tackling inequality and discrimination in Ireland, and his legacy continues to this day.
“Mervyn drove forward so many changes in the law, and it is long and notable list of Acts that is a testament to his record of public service. It includes the Interpretation Act, the Maternity Protection Act, the Family Law Acts and the Domestic Violence Act. He also brought through the Adoptive Leave Act, the Civil Liability (Amendment) Act and the Civil Legal Aid Act among many others. He published the Commission for the Status of People with Disabilities and his bills on equal status, and employment equality were finally passed into law after his term.
“On behalf of the Labour party I extend our condolences to his family and friends. He will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.”