‘Mountain Man’ gave his life to his people and his places

Tributes to Terry

By Staff Reporter

Tributes have been paid to the much-loved community stalwart and passionate  environmentalist, Terry Enright, who died on Tuesday.

0Terry (68) will be remembered by many as the man who fought for his beloved Belfast Hills, but he was the face of many campaigns over the years.

In January 1998 Terry’s son, Terry Jnr, was murdered by the LVF as he worked as a doorman in a nightclub in Belfast city centre. Terry Jnr was a keen sportsman and a popular member of Gort na Móna GAC.

The loss of his son hit Terry hard, but he battled on for the West Belfast community.

Former West Belfast MP Gerry Adams said Terry’s  death will come as a great blow to the people he served for so many years.

“I want to extend on my own behalf and that of my family, and of Sinn Féin, our sincerest condolences to Mary and the Enright family on the death of Terry,” he said. “Terry was a tireless campaigner for his community. For four decades he was a committed activist on social justice issues and community matters, as well as being a keen Gort na Móna man.

“Terry was very vocal against sectarianism and against discrimination in employment. But he is perhaps best known as ‘the Mountain Man’ – the foremost champion of environmental issues in Belfast and in particular in defence of the Belfast Hills which he walked and loved.

“I have known Terry for most of that time. He was interned in the 1970s. In October 1974 he was one of hundreds of republican prisoners against whom the British used CR gas – which is banned. Since then many of the prisoners have died from cancer and there is a belief that the CR gas played a part.

“In 1998 his son Terry óg, who was married to my niece Deirdre, was killed by the LVF. It is a mark of his generosity and vision that this made him even more determined in his anti-sectarianism and his desire to see young people treated properly and have access to education and employment.”

Mr Adams went on: “Terry was a fair, decent human being – a gentleman in all respects – whose main priority in life, after his devotion to his family, was to end injustice and build a better society on this island.

“To Mary and his sons, Liam, Niall and Feargal, his daughters-in-law, his grand- children and family circle, I extend solidarity on the loss of a great advocate for equality and human rights.”

Ballymurphy priest, Fr Des Wilson, said Terry’s passing will be a huge loss to the community that he loved.

“Terry was a wonderful, wonderful person,” he said.  “He saved the mountain and if he hadn’t been there, I don’t thing anything effective would have been done. Terry was totally dedicated, totally honest and a very determined individual. He has left a legacy of beauty that is just wonderful for this area.”

Tommy Holland of the Upper Springfield Resource Centre said that while the community has lost a valued stalwart, Terry’s legacy will live on in the district.

“Terry was a founder member and Chairperson of the Resource Centre, as well as the Upper Springfield Trust, InterAction Belfast and the Save the Black Mountain campaign, along with many other initiatives for the well-being of all our communities,” said Tommy.

“On a personal note, Terry was more than a colleague, he was a mentor and a great friend to me and taught me a lot over many years.

“Through many of Terry’s family’s personal hardships, from the death of his son to his ill-health, he was always positive, progressive and great fun to be around. His boys are a credit to him and Mary. I think we now just have to only look up at the Black Mountain to have those good memories of Terry Enright wash over us and think of him doing handstands with Terry Junior. He will be sorely missed by me and all his friends in the Resource Centre.”

 

Inspiring

Belfast Hills Partnership Manager, Jim Bradley, said Terry was “inspiring”.

“Terry had been a Director with the Partnership since its inception back in 2004 but had been involved in so many aspects to do with the Belfast Hills for years before that.

“I know a lot of people are using the word inspiring when it comes to Terry, but that is exactly the type of man he was. He had a fantastic knowledge, especially of the Black Mountain, and was always there to give me more information and advice when it came to flint finds, local oral history and wildlife.

“He was a great person for giving practical advice and will continue to be an inspiration  for us for many years to come.”

Terry Enright is survived by his wife Mary and his sons Liam, Niall and Feargal. Terry’s remains will leave the family home at 8 Dermott Hill Drive on Friday at 9.15am for 10am Requiem Mass in Holy Trinity Church followed by burial at the City Cemetery.

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