The late Cllr. Oliver Tully, may he rest in peace.
The death has occurred of Councillor Oliver Tully. The Fine Gael Councillor was the current vice chairman of Louth County Council and he topped the poll in the Drogheda Rural electoral area in May’s local elections.
A former schoolteacher, the popular Councillor, who worked so hard for his neighbours and friends in his village of Baltray and the Drogheda rural area, was first elected to Louth County Council in 1991. The father of four’s death has been described as a "huge loss" to the Drogheda area.
Fellow Fine Gael member, Deputy Fergus O’Dowd, said: "Oliver was an exemplary public representative, he dedicated his life to working for his community and he was also a dedicated family man.
"His knowledge of education and his work as a teacher was second to none, he was highly respected by his colleagues and students, he personified all that was good in public life - honest hardworking, dedicated and humble, he worked unbelievably hard for his community and he will be greatly missed.
I extend my deepest sympathy to his Wife Eileen and his children Philip, Evelyn, Sarah and Amy and his extended family and friends."
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Mayor of Drogheda Paul Bell said: “Councillor Oliver Tully was not just a fellow elected member he was a dear friend of mine and I was privileged to enjoy his company and support. Oliver was a devoted public servant and community representative always working diligently for his constituents, town and County.
"While he was a loyal member of Fine Gael, he understood the necessity to work with other Councillors and Officials to get things done and was never afraid to stand his ground. Councillor Tully also demonstrated his leadership qualities in his terms of Office as Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council and as Mayor of Drogheda. Councillor Tully will be sadly missed by all of us and deeply and painfully by his family and friends."
Senator Ged Nash said: "Oliver was a true gentleman and a political giant on Co. Louth. He was hardworking and diligent, a man of enormous integrity who worked exceptionally hard for the people of the area. Never one to chase headlines, he got things done with no drama and that really was the mark of the man.
"I have known Oliver for over thirty years. Firstly as a teacher but for the past twenty years as a political colleague and more importantly as a friend.
"The esteem in which he was held across the board was reflected in his poll-topping performance in the recent local elections. This was a remarkable achievement and I hope that Eileen and the family will take some comfort in these difficult times at the legacy he left behind in the community he loved so much."
Labour Councillor Pio Smith said that " Oliver was a gentleman, with great values and he was a great servant to Louth and it's people. He gave great energy and committment to his role as a representative of the people and working for the greater good. He was a loyal friend and will be sadly missed."
Councillor Kevin Callan said: "I was very sad this morning to hear that Oliver Tully has passed away. I extend my sincerest sympathies to the Tully Family. I have known Oliver since I was 16 and worked with him in local politics for a long time. He was always very helpful and decent in his efforts for our community. He will be seriously missed."
Fianna Fail Councillor James Byrne said: "I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Oliver’s family. I got to know Oliver since I put my name forward to run for the Council last year. He was always supportive and courteous to me and offered some valuable advice. A gentleman to work with on our short time together on Louth County Council and passionate about representing the area. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."
Fianna Fail TD, Declan Breathnach spoke of Oliver as a true friend, colleague and a champion of the people, particularly of South Louth.
"I extend my sincere sympathy to his wife Eileen and his children Philip, Sarah, Amy and Eibhlín” he said.
“Oliver and I were both first elected to Louth County Council in 1991 and we soldiered together for over 25 years in a spirit of comradery and co-operation. His commitment to community will be hard to replace. His passion in all things environmental was truly evident along with his concern and interest in individual and family problems.
"In remembering Oliver, the phrase ‘his word was his bond’ comes to mind. I would like to offer my sympathies to his wider Fine Gael colleagues and supporters. Oliver topping the poll in many Council elections since 1991 spoke volumes for his single-minded determination to enhance his local area that he cared so much for."
Independent Councillor Paddy McQuillan said: "Very sad to hear of the passing of Cllr Oliver Tully. A gentleman. He offered me plenty of advice when I started out, always saw the person before the party. He will be missed by all, especially those in his constituency. Condolences to his family. RIP Oliver.
Councillor Declan Power said he was deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the sudden passing of Cllr Tully. "He sat beside me recently at my first Borough District of Drogheda council meeting and offered great support and guidance. My deepest condolences to his family at this very difficult time."
Perhaps though, the most moving tribute came from a somewhat unexpected source, Sinn Fein Councillor Joanna Byrne. On behalf of her party’s team in Louthshe said: “Oliver was a man who worked tirelessly for his community, he never looked for headlines but instead for resolutions.”
“My most recent memory of him is from the count in May after the election. He had a sore looking eye and I had encouraged him to go and get it checked. He had damaged it taking down an election poster.
“He reappeared at the count with the eye bandaged and was glad he had got it checked. He then landed into our first municipal meeting in Drogheda after the election with a box of chocolates for me. He told me ‘I had a heart as big as Drogheda’. A nice man.”
“Our deepest sympathies to his wife Eileen and his four children and to all his FG colleagues.”