Jeremy Hardy was and has left

I first met Jeremy through work, and then a little later through my sister-in-law Deirdre who had become a friend of his working together on Irish political causes. I spent an enjoyable evening sitting beside him and Uncle Pat at a family event in Carlingford, Co. Louth and last chatted with him at the bar in BAFTA a few months ago. I was shocked to hear on Friday that he had died at the age of just 57.

Jeremy hardy comedian addresses a CND march in Trafalgar Square

Jeremy addresses a CND march in Trafalgar Square

Early on in my time at Channel 4 I commissioned a website for a Paul Greengrass drama about the Omagh bomb. I asked Jeremy for a contribution, asking whether there was any silver lining to the Omagh bombing five tears [oops, Freudian slip – years] after the event, and this is what he had to say:

Jeremy Hardy

Jeremy Hardy is a comedian and campaigner.

Omagh was such a sad, stupid, pointless atrocity, committed by people refusing to look at another way forward.

It was an attack on a largely harmonious town – a town which stands as a symbol for what Northern Ireland could be like.

It’s also time that people who want to investigate what happened look not only at the perpetrators but also at the failure of the RUC.

As uncompromising and committed as ever. We had not that much in common politically – nuclear disarmament, the Guildford 4, that’s probably about it – not least because he was so much more politically oriented and committed, but I always enjoyed spending time with him and talking when we crossed paths.

He was a very funny fella (in particular on Radio 4’s The News Quiz). And he wore a cardigan.

His friend and fellow lefty comedian Mark Steele perhaps captured the sad news best and most concisely, in a tweet:

My dearest friend left us early this morning. I was so lucky to have spent 35 years arseing about with him. Knowing him as I did, I know he wouldn’t want you to be sad, he’d want you to be bloody devastated x

10:02 AM – 1 Feb 2019

 

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