‘One of life’s one offs’ – Convener leads council in tributes to ‘Slim’ Jim Irvine

Tributes were paid to former Shetland councillor and ‘unique character’ Jim Irvine.

The SIC’s convener Malcolm Bell opened this afternoon’s special meeting with a brief speech in honour or Mr Irvine, more often known as ‘Slim Jim’, who died on 4th September aged 84.

Mr Bell said: “Anyone who knew Jim will recognise and understand his description as one of life’s one offs.

“He was a truly unique character who  was totally committed to his community and the electorate who time and again trusted him and returned him to the town hall.

“He was a formidable politician who well understood that succession politics can only ever be achieved through dealing with and working with others and being prepared to compromise where necessary.”

Mr Bell highlighted Mr Irvine’s 36 years on Zetland County Council and its successor Shetland Islands Council, following his first election to the Bressay ward in 1970. 

He was returned by the electorate on no fewer than nine occasions.

Mr Bell said that after standing down from the council in 2007, Mr Irvine divided his time between Shetland and Edinburgh.

“Prior to the pandemic I bumped into him often during his trips home  and many a lively, often funny and always animated conversations we had, usually out on The Street or in Tesco car park,” he said.

“He remained forever interested in the workings of the council and I really valued his insight and his support.”

Having spoken to Mr Irvine’s daughter, Mr Bell said he was told that despite his ill health he lost none of his good humour and enthusiasm,

Mr Bell asked members to join with him in expressing their deepest sympathy to his family and friends.


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