McCormack pays tribute to council colleagues in end of year address

At the final meeting Athlone Moate Municipal District of the year, a touching tribute was paid to the Farrell family from Ardnagrath as they spend their first Christmas without their son, Eoinie, who passed away in July.

The mayor of the district, Cllr Vinny McCormack said Christmas can be “a difficult period for many households” due to factors such as financial challenges or the loss of a loved one.

“We all think of and support families in difficult circumstances at this time of year, and I want to particularly think of our colleague, Cllr Tom Farrell, and his family, who face their first Christmas since the tragic loss of Eoinie.”

He hoped the support the Farrell family had received would be “a comfort” to them. “I hope you all share great memories of Eoinie over the dinner table and I have no doubt that he will be looking down and watching over you with great love,” he said.

Cllr McCormack also extended good wishes to another council colleague, Cllr Liam McDaniel, who joined the December meeting home, having spent 420 days as a patient in the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore.

The Kilbeggan councillor, who has been battling ill-health for more than a year, was also congratulated on the birth of his first grandchild, who Cllr McCormack added “will make this Christmas even more special” for the McDaniel family.

Cllr McCormack said Cllr McDaniel “still has a long road ahead” to regain good health, but he was confident he would continue to make progress “in leaps and bounds from the comfort of home”.

Cllr McCormack also paid tribute to voluntary and community groups. “The work of those groups cannot be over estimated and they continue to contribute so much to the development of our towns and villages,” he said. He paid tribute to the council’s outdoor staff and the emergency response teams who do “a phenomenal job”, and extended thanks to staff of the district office.

“I am sure we are not the easiest bunch to be dealing with on a daily basis,” he quipped, “but I have to say we are extremely lucky to have the staff we do across all the services in the district.”

Cllr McCormack ended his address by wishing his fellow members a happy Christmas, adding that they were “a pleasure to work with”.