Sudden death of Michael Ferguson
Sinn Fein Assembly member Michael Ferguson died suddenly last night at
his home in Belfast at the age of 53.
The party's education spokesman had been receiving treatment for
Mr Ferguson's death came as an interview on his battle with cancer was
being published in a Belfast-based newspaper.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams expressed his sympathies to Mr
Ferguson's family and friends.
"No one who met Michael could fail to see his passion for life and
determination," he said. Despite his illness, Michael's death will
as a great shock to the many people who knew and respected him,"
Married with four children, Mr Ferguson had been an active republican
for most of his adult life. After a period of eight years in jail, he
was elected to Lisburn Council in 1999.
He held a number of influential positions on Lisburn Council, defying
unionist threats and intimidation. As a councillor and committed
community activist Michael had led a number of successful campaigns on
housing, traffic calming and against the siting of mobile phone masts
in residential areas.
He also represented Sinn Fein on the All Ireland body charged with
administering European funding and the Regional Strategic Partnership
He died as he was due to receive chemo-therapy 'top-up' drugs at
Belfast City Hospital marking the end of his first cycle of treatment.
Mr Ferguson had been keen to raise awareness about the disease that is
now the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 45 in the
North of Ireland.
In the interview published this morning, he urged other men to be more
aware of the symptoms of testicular cancer.