Labour MSP Michael Marra of Dundee has paid a heartfelt tribute to his mother, Eileen, who has died after a period of illness.
He described her as blisteringly honest, achingly funny and said knowing the depth of her love was the blessing of his life.
Teacher Eileen, also mother to former Labour MSP Jenny Marra, was known to generations of schoolchildren in Dundee and rose to become depute headteacher of Our Lady’s Primary School.
She was married to retired headteacher Nicholas Marra, brother of celebrated Dundee singer-songwriter Michael Marra.
In a tweet announcing his mother’s death, Michael wrote: “A teacher, a reader.
“So, so intelligent. My dad’s best friend of 50 years. Above all else a mum and gran. God, we loved her.”
Eileen saw both Jenny and Michael carve successful careers in politics representing Labour.
Jenny served as an MSP for north-east Scotland from 2011 until 2021.
Michael, who had been elected to Dundee City Council in 2017, gained a north-east Scotland seat at Holyrood in the 2021 election.
Dundee Liberal-Democrat councillors Fraser Macpherson and Michael Crichton sent their condolences to the Marra family.
Colette McDiarmid, a former pupil of Eileen’s who is an East Dunbartonshire councillor, said she had fond memories of her school days.
Politicians rally round
Michael Elrick, former aide to late Labour leader John Smith, former Labour MSP Margaret Curran, and broadcaster Jim Spence, aso sent messages of goodwill to the family.
There was support from across the political divide, with former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson writing: “Michael, she sounds amazing. I am so sorry for your hurt and loss.”
Dundee Labour councillor Richard McCready, who served on the city council at the same time as Michael, added: “I’m so sorry to hear this.
“Eileen was a lovely woman. Thoughts and prayers to you and all the family. May she rest in peace.”
Former Dundee MP Jim McGovern said: “Michael, I’m not often lost for words but struggling a bit on reading your beautiful tribute to your beautiful mum Eileen.
“Such a lovely lady.”