It is with deep sadness that I have learned the shocking news of the sudden and untimely death of my esteemed Party colleague, John Jefferies.

For virtually his entire adult life John was actively involved in the politics of the Workers’ Party, both in his home city of Cork, as well as regionally and nationally. Through all the ups and downs of the Party’s history, he remained a constant, ever-present and positive force for both continuity, stability and radical, revolutionary socialism, never once wavering in his commitment to the establishment of the Socialist Republic. In this regard he was a Republican in the truest and fullest extent of that often misused and abused concept.

Even though for long periods in his life, John battled against serious illness he never complained, never sought sympathy, and never, ever allowed his periods of illness to prevent him from fighting the workers’ fight. Whether in elections, or in the general promotion of the Party, John was always to the fore. First in, last out was his unspoken motto whenever serious campaigns were fought. Whether they were national ones on housing or the water-tax, or more local ones in Cork city or Cobh, John would be there, a relentless, fearless fighter against all forms of injustice and system oppression. 

Indeed, right up virtually to his sudden death John was still fighting the fight.  This time in the recent general election in Cork North Central on behalf of his Comrade James Coughlan, who was standing for the Party in that constituency.

John Jefferies may have been physically a small man, but politically and intellectually he was a giant amongst us. His death has robbed us of a truly great person and Comrade, leaving a great gap in our ranks.

For myself I can only say that to have known him for so long has been great pleasure; to have worked with him politically has been an enormous privilege.

Michael Donnelly, President, The Workers’ Party of Ireland

13th February 2020