Michael Ferguson (Irish politician)

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Michael Ferguson
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for West Belfast
In office
26 November 2003 – 24 September 2006
Preceded by Sue Ramsey
Succeeded by Paul Maskey
Personal details
Born 1953
Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Died 24 September 2006(2006-09-24)
Nationality Irish
Political party Sinn Féin
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast

Michael Ferguson (circa 1953–24 September 2006) was an Irish Republican politician. He served as a councillor on Lisburn City Council and as an MLA for Belfast West.

Politics[edit]

Ferguson graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 1989 and became involved in politics. In 1989, Ferguson was elected as a Sinn Féin representative on Lisburn City Council. In 2003, he was also elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly, to represent Belfast West. As an MLA he was appointed as Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Education and led the campaign against education cuts in Northern Ireland As a Councillor and committed community activist, he led a number of successful campaigns on housing, traffic calming and against the siting of mobile phone masts in residential areas. Ferguson also represented Sinn Féin on the all-Ireland body charged with administering European funding, and he also served as vice-chair of the West Belfast Partnership Board. Michael Ferguson was well known as a founder member of the West Belfast Safer Streets Campaign Group. Through this work he challenged anti-social behaviour, developed initiatives to tackle crime and created opportunities for young people to contribute positively to the community.

Illness and death[edit]

Ferguson died on 24 September 2006 from testicular cancer.[1][2] He had spoken about the illness to the Irish News[3] (a Belfast-based daily newspaper), saying "Men are neglectful of their own health and do not visit their doctors."[4] Tributes following his death came from across the political divide with SDLP councillor Patricia Lewsley remarking that he was a "colourful character who will be missed by many members of the political family" and Ulster Unionist MLA Billy Bell saying that he was "not only an energetic political opponent, but more importantly he was a dedicated family man". The Teeling Roundabout (also referred to as Poleglass Roundabout) at Upper Dumurry Lane has been informally renamed the "Michael Ferguson Roundabout" in the late community activist's memory. He had a personal interest in environmental and horticultural issues and won a number of awards for environmental improvement schemes. This is marked by the annual flower bed competition in which pupils from local schools are invited to design the flower beds for the roundabout.

References[edit]

Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Sue Ramsey
MLA for Belfast West
2003 - 2006
Succeeded by
Paul Maskey