Séamus Moran 1972 – 2021


For the last few years, Séamus Moran has been the figurehead of the University and College Union at Tyne Coast College. Based in South Tyneside in the Marine School, he was keen to show that the union represented members both sides of the water, getting across to North Tyneside to make sure members were represented wherever they worked.


Séamus led the union throughout the lockdown and the restrictions that followed. These were difficult days for staff and students alike. He worked hard for both – and was respected by all.


His ability to converse with the whole college community set him apart from many others. College leaders spoke of his ability to express the concerns of members and to reason with everyone.


Friends, colleagues and comrades will miss him. Our thoughts are with his family and close friends at this difficult and sad time.




Tributes to Séamus


Seamus has always been brilliant at work, helping me and others in our department. On a personal level, Seamus helped me in meetings when I was struggling at work. He gave me very good advice about looking after myself. Seamus was a great bloke and will be a big miss.

John Archer



Seamus will be greatly missed by all the staff and students who were lucky enough to meet him.  He always put his students first and there was no one prouder when they were successful!

On a personal level he was a true friend and I will also miss him deeply.

Jon Milner



It was a privilege and pleasure to work with Seamus on the JCC and in his role supporting UCU members.  Seamus always presented the union case in a positive way and looked to find ways to work together for the benefit of staff, students and the college.  I will miss him personally.  My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.

Lindsey Whiterod



Seamus joined the college six years ago and immediately joined the union. He became very active straight away and encouraged others to do so. Taking responsibility in his stride, he attempted to energise others to participate and take ownership of their own working lives and conditions. This attitude and energy transmitted itself to all aspects of his work at the college, and his passing will leave a large and difficult gap to fill.

Paul English



He was very forthright in his convictions and stood firm in his desire to fight for the rights of his members but he was always professional and courteous in our meetings.  We had some good discussions! He will be sadly missed.

Catherine Donnelly



Seamus was an excellent lecturer and union rep.

He always stood up for what he believed was right and was well thought of by staff and students. His passing is a massive loss to the Marine School and he will hugely missed by his colleagues. He was always great for a comment or two about the rugby, be it Ireland or England. Rest in peace, my friend.

Simon Ashton



Seamus was an excellent friend, colleague and union representative.  He was dedicated to the idea of growing the union on both sides of the river; always keen to make members feel welcome.  At a personal level he represented me during a restructure process, encouraged my union participation and mentored me as I became a Union representative myself, enthused by his vision and commitment.  Seamus possessed incredible patience and empathy; these gifts remained apparent especially during trying circumstances.  I will miss him.  My thoughts are with his family, friends and all those touched by his work in the College and Union communities.

Steve Driver



Seamus was exemplary in the way that he represented staff, and cared deeply for his students. This was particularly noticeable during the pandemic. He always looked at the big picture, and did so with passion and humour. I’ll miss the emails from him, the phone calls, and the friendly chats that will always be my biggest memory of him. We have lost a great man.

Jon Bryan



I got to know Seamus through his activities with the union and I always found him to be the first person I could approach for clarity on anything to do with union matters. He was always eager to help and do his best to find a solution to any problem. Through social media I got to see another side of Seamus, the family man, the father and husband. We liked much of the same music and many of the same pages. He was passionate about left wing politics and all that it encompasses, and I naturally admired him for that. I’m shocked by his sudden passing and send my heartfelt condolences to his family at this difficult time.

Lee Dickson



After joining the college Seamus quickly joined the UCU and got involved right from the start. This “larger than life” man with an even bigger heart strove passionately to see people treated fairly. He fought not only for the staff, but for students too, checking on their wellbeing during lockdown, and taking them food when they ran out of money. Seamus, you will be sorely missed by the staff and students here.

Al Reynier



Solid as a rock, Seamus was the person you would want on your side in a crisis, every time. Equal parts serious business and a wicked sense of humour, he was so well respected and much loved, he will be deeply missed.

Heather McGrath



Seamus was a big guy with a big smile and a big heart.  He had a great sense of humour and we had great crack on UCU training courses with Seamus and in our Whatsapp group. He was kind, sensitive and supportive of the students and his members. He showed real concern for the overseas students in the NE when the first lockdown was introduced.  My sympathy and best wishes go out to his family.

Ann Marie Condron



I met Seamus on training courses in Gateshead and immediately liked him. He was such a lovely and interesting guy. We talked a lot about nerd culture, rugby, 3D printing & occasionally overthrowing the bourgeoisie. My thoughts are with the family left behind.

Scott Inglis



We were privileged enough to teach Seamus his PGCE when he started at STC. Seamus was a kind, thoughtful and compassionate member of the group. He supported his peers throughout his two years on the programme and was passionate about education for all. It was quite clear that he was destined to represent the staff of Tyne Coast College through the union. He had a heart of gold and a clear distinction between right and wrong. Seamus’s ability to communicate with others was one of his biggest assets. He actively listened and shared his experiences with all. This was evident in Seamus’s observations on the programme. His students responded to his approach and discussions of his experiences at sea. Seamus’s teaching was innovative and creative, especially his use of his Lego ship. Emma and I were proud of the practitioner Seamus had become. Our thoughts are with Seamus’s wife and two boys and his wider family, friends and colleagues. We will miss seeing Seamus’s friendly face on the corridors of STC. All our love.

Emma Douglas

Nicola McCluskey




Seamus was a good friend and we had many chats about everything and nothing! We completed our Cert Ed together and our friendship started from then. A great loss and will be missed. Rest easy my friend.

Matt Tucker



I’ve worked with so many colleagues that have taken on the unenviable mantle of UCU Branch Secretary in my time as a member of the college branch committee. Seamus was one of those that effortlessly touched the hearts of so many and fought like a lion for every single scrap of their rights. His empathy and fortitude were immense and he will be so sorely missed by every single one of us who have had the good fortune to known him. Our thoughts are very much with all his loved ones at such a sad time. I’ll miss my rugby catch ups mate. Goodbye and God bless.

Neil Smith



Séamus was an extraordinary man.  He was a tremendous support to our team, and to me in particular, during the restructure and I’ll be forever grateful for that.  We soon became friends and I saw a different side to him: his family life, his sense of humour and his kindness.  I am sorry that his family is experiencing the pain of his sudden loss and I send my heartfelt condolences to them all.  Rest in peace Séamus. Thank you, for all that you did as a colleague, a UCU rep and as a friend.  I’m sorry we never got the opportunity to have that pint I owed you.

Louise Newton



Seamus joined the college six years ago and joined the union right away. He became a very good activist to voice the concerns of staff across the college. As Branch Secretary at the time he joined, I enjoyed working with Seamus enormously. He was always forthright in his convictions and really stood up for what he believed was right. When I left the College, I knew that Seamus was going to take the role of Branch Secretary in his stride, continuing to energise the movement and to support staff whenever and wherever it was needed. We kept in touch when I left. He had a great sense of humour – we shared a lot of laughs and I will miss that. I’m extremely shocked and saddened by his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this very sad time.

Claire Elliott



Seamus was a person who was always approachable, one who wore a wise head above his shoulder and always spoke his mind. He was passionate about teaching and took his social responsibilities seriously. He was genuine and a good human being who leaves behind a big vacuum in our hearts. Rest in peace my dear friend.

Manoj Singh



Awful to hear the news. Seamus helped and supported me during a difficult period and was a constant source of help. He was always helpful and available and supported me in meetings, despite the pressure on him after the first lockdown. He was dedicated to supporting others and selflessly gave his time and substantial knowledge. I’ll be raising a glass to him tonight.


We are truly saddened to learn of the death of colleague, friend and UCU representative Seamus Moran. Seamus dedicated his professional life to helping people, always did it with courtesy and a smile and always went the extra mile for his members. We will miss him and his booming infectious laugh, immeasurably.

UNISON at Tyne Coast College



I met Seamus at a number of regional events. I recall doing a podcast with him about experiences of lockdown in FE Colleges. He came across as a warm, sincere and generous man who cared passionately about his work, his members, his students and his colleagues. I cannot conceive of what his loss will mean to his family and to everyone who knew him well, but would like to pass on my heartfelt condolences to all those close to him.

Neil Stockton



Some of us met Seamus on UCU training courses and other regional events. We remember him fondly. He was warm, friendly and made an impression. A good man, who will be a loss. Our condolences to the UCU Branch at Tyne Coast College and to his family and friends.

Durham University UCU



Seamus always went well above and beyond what was required for our students, and certainly put in a shift. I always admired his dedication to the Union cause and his efforts in supporting colleagues when help was needed, and he worked tirelessly to achieve a better workplace for all. Rest in peace.

Ian Smithson




If you wish to add your thoughts/a short tribute, please email jbryan@ucu.org.uk, indicating whether you are happy for your name to be attributed to your comments. We will regularly update this with your memories.