09 Aug 2022

Ivan Cooper: Civil Rights hero laid to rest after funeral service

Ivan Cooper, one of the most prominent figures of the Civil Rights era, has been laid to rest this afternoon after his funeral service at St Peter’s Church of Ireland in Derry. Mr Cooper, who was 75, passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning (June 26). He is survived by his wife Frances, daughters Sinead and Bronagh, son-in-law Conor and his grandchildren Cashel and Lucas. Addressing the congregation during the funeral service, Archdeacon of Derry, the Venerable Robert Miller said: “Ivan’s name and face and views would’ve been well-known to a whole generation who came of age – politically – in the turbulence of the late 60s and early 70s. “Ivan was building a better community from the family out; his every step was informed and sustained by his Christian faith.  Remember the Summary of the Law from St Mark’s Gospel? ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength,’ and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  Over these last ten years these commandments – what Christ regarded as the greatest commandments – summarised how Ivan sought to live out his faith. “People were equal in God’s sight and were to be treated as such in any society that was to honour God. “Ivan sought to build that society by meeting people, talking to them, breaking down barriers, developing relationships, building trust, fostering friendships, challenging attitudes, changing minds, working with others. This was the shape of his politics.” Following the service, Mr Cooper’s remains were interred at Altnagelvin Cemetery.

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