On the 18th August 2014, Belfast lost one of its favourite sons in Colin McQuillan, front man of local band Runnin’ Riot. Colin, aged 46, died in his sleep in London while on tour supporting Old Firm Casuals on their UK tour.
As singer for the popular street punk/oi! Band, Colin’s on-stage presence and powerful vocals gained the band many fans all over the world. Regulars on the touring circuit and at festivals throughout Europe and beyond, as well as at many anti-racism events, Runnin’ Riot were proud to be working class and their music brought together and united people from all walks of life.
However it was Colin’s personality off stage that won him the love and respect of fans and fellow musicians alike. Loyal, caring and generous, Colin always had a smile on his face and time to talk to everyone he met. Never one to see anyone stuck, he often opened up his home to bands and music lovers visiting Belfast.
As Branch Secretary of Unison in Belfast City Hospital Colin was tireless in his work to defend those he represented and the NHS as a whole. During the build up to the closure of the City’s A&E department he fought to try and keep the service open, and after its closure believed that the department needed to be re-opened, a belief he held right up to the end.
Since his death the outpouring of love and support on social media and beyond has been incredible. Messages from all over the world, including from major acts such as Rancid and Dropkick Murphys, only start to touch on how deep his friendship and influence reached.
The Socialist Party sends its condolences to Colin’s partner Nikki, band mates Marty, Ralph and Eden and the rest of his friends and family.