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RIP Dermot Doolan, Former FIA Vice-President

Then Vice-President Dermot Doolan (left), in conversation with Bjorn Hoberg-Petersen Legal Council to the Danish Actors' Union (centre), and with the then Secretary General of FIA Gerald Croasdell, at the 1979 Budapest Congress of FIA.

Dermot Doolan (left) pictured with Irish Equity President Padraig Murray at the FIA 2015 World Live Performance Conference in Dublin.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of FIA’s former Vice-President Dermot Doolan last weekend following a period of ill-health. Dermot was a founder member and former Secretary of Irish Actors’ Equity Association and the first Secretary of the ITGWU Cultural Division. He was also always strong supporter of international cooperation among performers’ unions and this was reflected by his Vice-Presidency of FIA from ’76 to ’79. A well-known and well-liked figure within the federation, he served tirelessly in FIA committees and participated actively in all of its the work. He is remembered both for the work he did and also for the warmth and kindness he extended to colleagues. He was a champion in that period of developing a strong Recommendation on the Status of the Artist at UNESCO and of including trade union rights within its remit. The 1980 text that eventually resulted is still a landmark one for performers across the globe today.

One of his most perennial contributions within FIA was the development of the so-called “Common Market group”, now known as the EuroFIA group. The establishment of the European Common Market (to which Ireland acceded in ’73), later to be developed into the European Union, increased the importance of cooperation at European level, also among the performers’ unions affiliated to FIA. This cooperation was championed from the outset by Dermot Doolan and it meant that the Federation was organised to have a voice on matters that were handled by the EU machinery in Brussels and Strasbourg, including in relation to European film production and performers’ rights. He welcomed the group to Dublin in 1974 and again in 1984 and was an active participant within it over many years. He reported to the FIA Congress in ’85 regarding the first draft of the “Television without Frontiers directive” and on the work underway to create a European film fund: the first steps towards a policy framework that is well-established today and in which FIA was involved from the beginning. The EuroFIA group remains a strong, cohesive and cooperative regional grouping within the wider Federation and FIA is grateful to Dermot Doolan for the time and energy he contributed to making it so.

Dermot was the beloved husband of his late wife Eta and loving father to Jean, Mimi, Mark, Adrienne and Orla. We extend our sincere condolences to them on their loss.