Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Funeral of Tony Cooney: Manchester Electrician

YESTERDAY, over 100 people turned out at Dukinfield Crematorium in the Dukinfield drizzle for the funeral of Tony Cooney, aged 50-years.  Tony was a contracting electrician who had long been associated with the campaign against the blacklist and had been a member of the Greater Manchester Contracting Branch.  For a time he had been a delegate for the branch on Tameside Trade Union Council, and in that capacity he attended the unveiling of the blue plaque for James Keogh on the 25th, November 2011, and he is credited on the inside cover of Tameside TUC's book 'Boys on the Blacklist'

The person giving the eulogy at the funeral described Big Tony as 'a wind-up merchant', and said that he liked a drink.  On top of Tony's coffin was a Manchester United scarf and a copy of the Racing Post.  The speaker said that everyone, including the many electricians present - some of whom had come from as far afield as Liverpool and London, was invited to the Unicorn pub on Church Street, Manchester after the funeral.  Two of his relatives read a poem by Kipling in memory of Big Tony.

Afterwards in the car on the way to the Unicorn in central Manchester the lads joked about his cavalier spirit and carefree feel for life, and how after he became ill, he never let it stand in the way of him having a good time.  The Blacklist Support Group was represented at the funeral, as was the Greater Manchester Contracting Branch, many of the regional branches in the North West region and Tameside TUC.

A whip-rouind at the Unicorn pub after the funeral produced £1,500 which was given to Tony's widow.

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