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This is another sad day for our Parliament as we pay our tribute to Helen Eadie, our friend and our colleague. In doing so, I welcome to the Parliament Helen’s husband Bob, her daughters Fiona and Jemma, and their family and friends.
Helen had already announced that she would not stand at the next election. She wanted to spend more time with her family—more particularly with her grandsons, who brought her such joy. Sadly, that was not to be, as she was taken from them, and from us, much too soon.
I knew Helen for at least 25 years, from the time when she was a Fife councillor. We were both delighted to be elected as MSPs in 1999. Helen was quite unique. She was kind, caring and compassionate, not just to her constituents but to her colleagues. Many of us can tell of her personal kindness to us in times of illness or difficulty.
During her time as a parliamentarian, Helen served on many committees of the Parliament, including the Public Petitions Committee, the Equal Opportunities Committee and, latterly, the European and External Relations Committee and the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, where she served as deputy convener. She worked tirelessly for her constituents and the communities that she served.
Helen was never afraid to be different or to be true to her own beliefs, even if that meant disagreeing with the prevailing view. She always argued her case with passion and conviction. We will all miss her.