Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.
Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has paid tribute to former Cllr Tommy Byrne following the news of his death yesterday.
“Like all my colleagues in Louth and in the Parliamentary Party I was deeply saddened to learn of Tommy’s fatal illness and of his death” Deputy Martin said.
“Tommy was a force of nature in Drogheda life. Having given more than forty years to local business and almost thirty years to local politics before his retirement earlier this year, he truly loved the town.
“He was Louth and proud. That commitment to community life also manifested itself in his sporting career, where he played GAA in the town and enjoyed success as a League of Ireland player with Drogheda United, where he served as player manager.
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“It should be some small comfort to those around him that this love for Drogheda and county Louth was returned in spades. I had the great pleasure of canvassing alongside Tommy for a series of elections as Leader.
“The great energy he brought to each – whether it was his own election in 2014, for his son Thomas’ election to Dáil Éireann, or for any Fianna Fáil candidate – was always the same. He was unstoppable and had a story for almost everyone he met.
“While his illness may have prevented him from bringing quite the same physical energy to the local election campaign earlier this year, I know that his interest in his son James’ campaign burned every bit as brightly and he demanded daily updates on his progress. I also know that he was very proud when James secured the seat that he himself had occupied for so long.
“This is because, while he was a man of many interests and abilities, his family always came first. Married to his devoted Kathleen and the father of seven adult children, his entire world revolved around them.
“Talking to him following Thomas’ victory in 2016 I was struck by how personally he took each step in Thomas’ career and I know he felt the same for each of his children. I also know that his loss will be very deeply felt by Kathleen and the whole family.
“On behalf of the entire Fianna Fáil organisation, I want to offer my sincerest condolences to Kathleen, his sons Thomas, James, Brendan and Barry, his daughters Mary, Kate and Noreen, all of his family and friends and the Fianna Fáil community in County Louth.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”