It was with great sadness that union members heard the news that SIPTU National Executive committee (NEC) member Tim Fitzgerald had passed away on Sunday, 1st February. SIPTU General Secretary, Joe O'Flynn, said: “Tim was a great advocate for workers and their rights. He used his many talents to secure good jobs and terms for his colleagues. He was a wise and greatly experienced negotiator. While quiet by nature he was hugely dedicated in every aspect of his work to serving his fellow trade unionists.“He maintained this commitment and dedication at every level at which he served the union’s members from shop steward right up to the National Executive Council (NEC).“He will be greatly missed by all his colleagues not only in Cork and his native county Limerick but the length and breadth of the country. A widely known and respected figure whose work for our union has benefited current members and ensured the greater likelihood of decent work for generations of union members to come.”Tim, who was employed at the Kerry Ingredients plant in Charleville, county Cork, was elected to the NEC in 2010.He began his working career in Golden Vale in 1976 and was an active member of the Mallow No. 1 Branch of the union since 1984, serving as a trustee and vice-president.As chairman of the Golden Vale shop stewards committee he successfully led the resistance to the company's attempts to introduce widespread contract working on the factory floor.Tim is one of a family of nine from the village of Colmanswell, county Limerick but lived in Charleville for the past 30 years. A high profile community activist he was a former chairman of the Charleville Labour Party branch and a soccer coach and administrator at local and national levels.