Posthumous tribute to former Haringey leader

An event to mark the renaming of Woodside House to George Meehan House in memory of former Councillor and Council Leader, George Meehan.
In attendance, cllrs, former cllrs, friends and relations of Cllr Meehan. (COPYRIGHT: John M Fulton.)

The late George Meehan, the former leader of Haringey Council, was honoured last week with a housing block opened in his name.

George Meehan House, at High Road Wood Green, was renamed from Woodside House in honour of Mr Meehan, who served as the leader of Haringey Council on three different occasions; 1983-85, 1999-04 and 2006-08.

The current Mayor of Haringey, Councillor Gina Adamou, was among those who attended the event last week.

“George often spoke of the honour of being able to serve the local community, both in Woodside and elsewhere in Haringey,” she said as part of her speech.

“He championed the borough’s Irish community and talked often of the pride he felt in Haringey’s rich cultural diversity. George challenged social injustice where he found it and championed the needs and the rights of Haringey’s communities.”

Mr Meehan had lived in Haringey with his wife Mary since moving to London from County Donegal, Ireland in 1963.

President Michael D Higgins at the Harringey Irish Centre in Tottenham on his fourt visit to the UK since his election.

Mr Meehan was first elected as a Labour Party ward councillor in 1971, initially serving until 1986. He was re-elected as a Woodside ward councillor in 1990, where he continued to serve as a councillor until his death today.

He served three separate periods as Leader of the Council, from 1983 to 1985; 1999 to 2004 and from 2006 until 2008. Mr. Meehan was also Deputy Leader of the Council in 1978-79 and 1996-99, and served as a school governor in a number of local schools.

He took an interest in children’s services and, as well as acting as a governor at several schools in Haringey, he was elected as executive member for children and young people in May 2004.

“I became a councillor because I believe in quality public service, I feel it is important that local people are involved in making decisions that affect their everyday lives,” he wrote on his web page some years ago.

The case of Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, a 17-month-old English boy who died in London in 2007 after suffering more than fifty injuries over an eight-month period, eventually forced Mr Meehan to step down.

Baby P was repeatedly seen by the London Borough of Haringey Children’s services and National Health Service (NHS) during the abuse but no action was taken.


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