PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has led the tributes following the death of Irish environmentalist Michael Ewing.
Mr Ewing, who hailed from Boyle in Co. Roscommon, died at North West Hospice in Sligo on November 28, his family has confirmed.
“He died peacefully surrounded by his devoted wife and family,” they stated.
Tributes have been paid to the campaigner, who dedicated his life’s work to advancing the cause for environmentalism in Ireland.
Having studied biology at Brunel Universality in West London, Mr Ewing went on to graduate from the Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo) with a MSc in environmental protection.
Through years spent working with the Irish Environmental Network and the Environmental Pillar, his work is widely deemed to have shaped Ireland’s approach to environmental conservation.
President Higgins said: “In leading the development of the Irish Environmental Network, a coalition of 32 national environmental NGOS across the island of Ireland, Michael helped to increase the impact and influence of the IEN’s member organisations.
“In 2009, Michael coordinated the establishment of the Environmental Pillar which was to become the fifth national Social Pillar,” he added.
“This cooperation and leadership among NGOs was crucial in advocating for the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis and continues to be of enormous importance.”
Mr Higgins went on to highlight Mr Ewing’s work to “advance the cause of environmental sustainability in other capacities”, including his position as a member of the National Economic and Social Council, the National Climate Dialogue Advisory Group and the Public Participation Networks.
“As a trained biologist and Environmental Protection Officer, Michael combined his expertise with a strong personal interest in participatory democracy, global justice and sustainable development,” the President added.
“All those who knew him and worked and campaigned with him will be proud of the legacy he leaves behind in assisting to shape tangible responses to care for our shared planet.”
Councillor Laurence Fallon, of Roscommon County Councill, has also paid tribute, claiming he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Mr Ewing’s death.
“Michael was a committed environmentalist who firmly believed in dialogue and cooperation as the only way to advance an environmental solution,” he said.
“May his kind and helpful soul rest in peace.”
Mr Ewing leaves behind his wife Marion, children Emma, Daniel and Oisin and grandchildren as well as his sisters Elizabeth and Mary and brothers Paul, Martin and Gerard.
His body will arrive at Lakelands Crematorium, Cavan, tomorrow (December 1) for a Committal Service at 2pm followed by cremation.