Tribute to senior caseworker Gilly Mundy, who died 10 years ago today
17 March 2017
INQUEST director Deborah Coles remembers Gilly Mundy:
Ten years ago today, INQUEST’s senior caseworker Gilly Mundy died suddenly aged 36. His unique way of patiently listening, guiding and providing strength to families led them to describe Gilly as "a man of the people", and “an angel” (he particularly enjoyed that description!).
He combined his politics and mammoth passion and determination for what was right and just, with his compassion, humour and love for life. He was a wonderful friend to me and many others. He is much loved and much missed. In remembering him today I wanted him to speak about what was important about his work. These are his words, that continue to inspire:
“I don’t see myself as objective, nor do I aspire to be. We are truthful and that is objective but primarily I see myself as fighting the corner of the families. The state creates a ‘them’ and ‘us’ division – we didn’t choose it. Politically I see this as very important. To be a thorn in the side of the state is an important political role."
‘I was already working with INQUEST, which is the organisation who monitor deaths in custody, and at one AGM I told the audience that what happened to these people [killed in police custody like Chistopher Alder, Roger Sylvester and many others] could happen to any of us. And then a couple of years later, I was standing in front of them again but now it had happened to my cousin. So my family and me were now “users” of Inquest. It shows you that none of us are immune – here am I, Benjamin Zephaniah, patron of INQUEST and client of INQUEST at the same time.’
– Benjamin Zephaniah