Although born in London, Kevin was brought up on the northside of Dublin.
He followed his father into the painting and decorating trade and also acquired his parents’ interest in socialist politics.
During his teenage years, Kevin was active in Na Fianna Eireann but by 1968 he had joined the Communist Party of Ireland. During 1976, he obtained employment on the development of the second Poolbeg Generator. As Site Convener for all the craft unions he played a pivotal role in the battle to enhance working conditions.
In 1979, he became an organiser with the Workers’ Union of Ireland based in Tullamore with responsibility for the membership in Bord na Móna. As Secretary of the Bord na Móna Group of Unions he battled to save the company and its workforce’s employment from its economic difficulties.
In 1998, Kevin was instrumental in setting up a new SIPTU branch dedicated exclusively to the task of reorganising workers in the security industry.
He pushed himself to the limit in every way, in physical activity and academic achievement. He was a devoted student and teacher of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and had a deep interest in the possibilities offered by co-operative organisation in industry. Kevin also learned to speak, read and write Russian, an ability that greatly assisted him on his regular trips to that country.
Mountaineering and hillwalking were hugely important to him. Kevin tragically died doing what he loved on Friday, 15th January, after climbing Lugnaquilla in the Wicklow Mountains.
Kevin McMahon 1948–2016