Former county councillor and mayor Martin Lonergan, who died on Tuesday
Deputy Mattie McGrath said it was with a deep sense of shock and sadness that he heard of the passing of former Tipperary county councillor, Mayor of Clonmel Borough District, colleague and employee Martin Lonergan of Goatenbridge.
"Martin was a kind and gentle character, a true gentleman who was very well liked," said Deputy McGrath.
"He did his best for his community during his life as a community activist and during his time as a county councillor. There wasn’t a committee in Goatenbridge that Martin was involved in some capacity and he took great pride in his parish. He also had a great faith and his faith and role in his local parish council were hugely important to him.
"Martin had a great love of history and was a true republican. He was keenly involved in the Liam Lynch Commemoration Committee, which was where we first worked together, and he always kept a close eye on the Liam Lynch Monument on his walks around home.
"From a very young age he was hugely interested in politics and my team and I were honoured to support his bid for the local elections back in 2014, when he topped the poll and became the first mayor of the newly-formed Clonmel Borough District, an achievement that he was immensely proud of," he stated.
"He delighted in his time working in Leinster House, where he made many lasting friendships, and he was a great colleague and friend to all my staff and colleagues who knew him and worked with him.
"Martin and I soldiered many battles together during his decade working with me and we had many great times, particularly during his time as Mayor of Clonmel. This was a challenging time, finding his feet as a first time councillor and being elected as the first mayor of the newly-formed district.
"He cherished that role and opened the Town Hall to many communities, groups and individuals around the district and beyond for the first time.
"Unfortunately, there are many crossroads in politics and in recent years we parted ways, but his sudden death has left us all shocked and deeply saddened.
"He was taken from this life much too young and he will be a huge loss to the community of Goatenbridge and to his family, but I am sure that he will have an everlasting bed in heaven, reunited with his beloved dad Sean, whose death left a huge void in Martin’s life.
"My staff, my family and I extend our most sincere sympathies to his mother Maureen, his sister Noreen and brothers Noel and John, all of the extended Lonergan family, his neighbours, the community of Goatenbridge and his many friends.
"Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dílis. May his most gentle soul rest in peace."
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