TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Labour councillor and former miner who has died at his home in Burnley at the age of 77.

Joe Tierney, who represented the town’s Coal Clough and Rosegrove with Lowerhouse wards in separate terms, had been decorated at least twice for his dedication to the Labour movement.

He died at home on Wednesday and leaves wife Eileen, son Shaun, daughter Sharon and step-daughter Lynne. His funeral details are yet to be confirmed.

Born Patrick Joseph Tierney, but known to everyone in Labour circles as Joe, he served on the borough council in two stints, from 1980 to 1983 in Coal Clough, and for Lowerhouse from 1996 to 2000.

Just two years ago he was presented with a long-service award from his union, Unite, in a dinner at The Cellar restaurant in Padiham.

And several years ago he also received a similar distinction from the Labour Party itself during a regional conference in Blackpool.

Former Burnley MP Peter Pike said he first met the veteran campaigner more than 50 years ago, at a protest meeting at Bank Hall Miners Club, while he worked for his predecessor Dan Jones.

Mr Pike said: “I had just taken up working in the Burnley Labour Party and whilst it was a packed meeting Joe Tierney, then a youngish man, made such an impact on the meeting, and on me, that he stood out at that time.

“I later knew him not only in the party but as a fellow worker at Mullards. Joe was always a fighter for the working people and his death will be a sad loss to the wider Labour movement.

“I give my sincere sympathy and condolences to his wife and family at this sad time.”