Disability campaigner Dara Gallagher dies aged 62

‘His heart decided to be the next part of him to give trouble,’ sister Bláithín says

Disability campaigner Dara Gallagher (62) has died.

A post on his Facebook page on Thursday read: "This is Dara's sister Bláithín on behalf of the Gallagher family. It is with a very heavy heart that I must inform all Dara's many many friends that he died at 8.37pm yesterday evening.

“Despite Dara’s long illness and his very brave fight, where we thought he was almost over the worst, it wasn’t to be and his heart decided to be the next part of him to give trouble, and never gave us any warning. Dara, we love you very much and you will be missed by all who knew you.”

In another post, his brother Pádraic Óg said that “after so many battles with various illnesses, his heart snuck up on him out of the blue and said exit left.”

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He described himself on his Twitter account as a "male political inactivist.Wheelchair-user. Green & Red. Sometimes thoughtful,often cranky. Hates churnalism. Loathes Rupert Murdoch. Foodie,used farm organically."

In his last tweet on Wednesday he thanked “everybody for their good wishes following my surgery yesterday both before and after-it. I am a bit wobbly but OK. Thanks.”

He had been operated on to have bone in his right leg removed.

A film on his life, Freedom Driver by first-time director Fran Cassidy, was awarded second prize at the ICCL (Irish Council for Civil Liberties) Human Rights Film Awards 2011.

In publicity for the film Mr Gallagher was described as “a quick-witted force of nature; a bon viveur, a raconteur and a rebel; a wheelchair user and a disability activist.”

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times