Tribute for former Burnley councillor

Joe Tierney (s)
Joe Tierney (s)

A former Burnley councillor and Labour party stalwart who served the people of the town for 50 years has died.

Mr Patrick Tierney (77), who was known as Joe, died at his home in Rutland Avenue, Lowerhouse, on Wednesday.

Mr Tierney was a very active union member and two years ago received a long service award from his union Unite at a dinner held at the Cellar Restaurant in Padiham.

He also received a long service award from the Labour party at the Regional Conference in Southport.

His stepdaughter Lynne Durant said local politics was Mr Tierney’s life.

A former miner, who worked at Bank Hall Colliery and later Lucas Aerospace, Mr Tierney came over to Burnley from Ireland as a young boy.

Lynne (64), of Loughrigg Close, Burnley, said Mr Tierney remained a staunch Labour supporter until his death and only stopped going to party meetings last year when his health deteriorated.

“He was a true Labour man,” she said.

“That was his life. He was really dedicated to his role as councillor. He didn’t just do it on a whim. He was very opinionated, he stood up for what he believed in and he helped so many people over the years.”

Fellow Labour party member and former Burnley MP Mr Peter Pike said Mr Tierney was a councillor for Coal Clough Ward and Lowerhouse during three separate spells on the council and was a committed Labour party campaigner and canvasser who fought for a better Burnley.

“I first met Joe Tierney in 1963 when he was working at Bank Hall Colliery and met him at a large protest meeting at Bank Hall Miners’ Club with my predecessor Dan Jones MP.

“I had just taken up working in the Burnley Labour Party and while it was a packed meeting Joe Tierney, then a youngish man, made an impact on the meeting and on me that he stood out at that time.

“I later on knew him not only in the party but as a fellow worker at Mullards.

“Joe was always a fighter for the working people and his death will be a sad loss to the wider Labour movement.

“I give my sincere sympathy and condolences to his wife and family at this sad time.”

During his time at the town hall, Mr Tierney also served on a host of different committees, including planning, recreation and leisure, finance and housing.

Mr Tierney leaves his wife Eileen (85), son Shaun, daughter Sharon, Lynne and four grandchildren.

His funeral will take place on Friday at Burnley Crematorium at 3pm.