Irish novelist was a proud union member of more than half a century

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The NUJ has paid tribute to long-standing union member Maeve Binchy, who has died aged 72.

Binchy, who was better known as a novelist, joined the NUJ when she first began working with the Irish Times in the 1960s. She maintained a keen interest in the union and journalism throughout a career which would see her sell more than 40 million copies of her novels.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “Maeve was very proud of her NUJ life membership and we were so proud of her continued interest in her union and all its members. She will be remembered across the world for her novels, but she will have a special place in the memories of all our members who knew her. Fame and success lay lightly on her. She retained a generosity of spirit and a keen and gentle interest in everyone she met that will endure for us all. The deepest sympathy of NUJ colleagues go to Maeve’s husband Gordon in his great loss.”

Gerry Curran, chair of the NUJ Irish Executive Council said the union “would be forever grateful for the loyalty and support of Maeve, who was a legend in her lifetime, a beloved writer and a friend to a generation of NUJ members. Her death is a great loss”.

NUJ Irish secretary Séamus Dooley said: “Maeve was a woman of rare charm, warmth and generosity of spirit. Hundreds  of journalists have reason to be grateful for her guidance and encouragement. She was always available to young writers and at heart remained a teacher.  Maeve loved people and her unique insight into human nature shone through her journalism and later her novels. She will be missed for her sense of fun, her humour and for the grace and style which were her hallmark.”


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