Social justice activist Reverend McCaughey dies aged 83

Reverend was a leading member of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland

Rev Terence McCaughey (left) pictured in Rathfarnham in 2001 with Prof Kader Asmal, South Africa’s former Minister for Education. Photograph: File photo/The Irish Times

Rev Terence McCaughey (left) pictured in Rathfarnham in 2001 with Prof Kader Asmal, South Africa’s former Minister for Education. Photograph: File photo/The Irish Times

 

Rev Terence McCaughey (83), a leading member of the Dublin and Munster Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has died.

Prominent in academic and social justice circles for many decades, he was a founder member of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and was involved with the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.

He was also active in the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

He served as chaplain to Mountjoy prison and worked with Prisoners Aid through Community Effort (PACE).

Rev McCaughey was a lone dissenting voice at the church’s 1969 general assembly in the RDS when delegates passed a vote of confidence in the RUC and the then Stormont government.

He was described then as having received “a lukewarm reception.”

Most of his academic life was spent at Trinity College Dublin where he lectured in Irish and was a founder member of the Department of Religions and Theology.

Dr Maureen Junker-Kenny, Prof of Theology at Trinity College paid tribute to Rev McCaughey.

She recalled how he had lectured on St Paul and the New Testament there, and that his “very insightful” book Memory and Redemption was part of their course on ethics and memory.

Born in Belfast, Rev McCaughey studied English at Cambridge before deciding on the church in his late 20s.

He studied for ministry in Edinburgh and spent his career in the Republic. He is survived by his wife Ohna and their four children.