Statement by the Northern Area, Communist Party of Ireland
28 January 2013
It is with deep regret that the Communist Party of Ireland announces the death of Jimmy Stewart, former general secretary and later the national chairperson of the CPI.
Jimmy was born in Ballymena on 23 November 1934 to Florry and Bob Stewart and went to school at the Ballymena Academy. From there he went to Stranmillis Teacher Training College, where he met Edwina Menzies, daughter of Eddie and Sadie. Jimmy and Edwina were married in 1954. In 1955 Jimmy joined the Communist Party of Ireland; Edwina was already in the CP. Her parents were founder-members.
Jimmy began his teaching career in Hemsworth Square School and later in Somerdale School on the Shankill Road, where he taught history and art. He later became a full-time worker for the Communist Party until his retirement. During this time he stood in elections in West Belfast, and he was also editor of Unity, the Communist Party newspaper. He became general secretary and finally the chairman of the Communist Party.
He was a devoted husband and comrade to Edwina and father to Helen and Moya, who have given him grandchildren. Helen and Corbett’s children are Eileen, Daniel, and Catherine. In 2012 Eileen had a beautiful baby boy, called Ruadhan.
Moya and Paul have sons Callum, Paul and Scott and daughter Tess. Jimmy also has a sister, Margaret, and nieces Karen and Nadine. Sadly, his nephew Peter is deceased. He had sisters-in-law Rosie, Marian, Sheila, and Julie.
Jimmy was an honest, hard-working man who believed that a better world could be made by the people for the people, that the unity of the Irish people must be one that benefits the ordinary person; and, in the words of James Connolly, “our demands most moderate are: we only want the earth.”