DEATHS OF TWO LOUTH PO­LIT­I­CAL HEAVYWEIGHTS

The Argus - - NEWS - By MAR­GARET RODDY For­mer Coun­cil­lor, Jim Lennon.

LOUTH po­lit­i­cal cir­cles were sad­dened last week with the news of the deaths two long serv­ing county coun­cil­lors, Ed­die Fil­gate and Jim Lennon.

The for­mer was also a Louth TD for Fianna Fail, while the later was also very well known in Louth GAA cir­cles fol­low­ing his time as a ref­eree and County Board Chair­man.

Both men came from Louth Vil­lage and were both very well re­spected and re­garded.

Ed­die Fil­gate, who passed away in his 101st year, was one of three Fianna Fail can­di­dates elected to the 21st Dail in 1977 Gen­eral Elec­tion re­turn­ing to Le­in­ster House with for­mer min­is­ter Padraig Faulkner and Joe Far­rell. He was re-elected twice, at the 1981 and the Fe­bru­ary 1982 gen­eral elec­tions, but didn’t con­test the Novem­ber 1982 gen­eral elec­tion.

One of 11 chil­dren, he lived in his na­tive vil­lage of Louth, next to the site of the house he grew up in. He is sur­vived by his wife Eil­ish and chil­dren Philom­ena, Ur­sula, Ea­mon, and Joan, son­sin-law, daugh­ter-in-law, grand­chil­dren, great-grand­daugh­ter, neph­ews, nieces, rel­a­tives and friends. He was pre­de­cased by his son An­thony.

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath De­clan Breath­nach paid trib­ute to the late Ed­die Fil­gate , say­ing: ‘I had the priv­i­lege of work­ing closely with Ed­die dur­ing his Coun­cil and Dáil elec­tion cam­paigns. He was a ded­i­cated pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tive who was proud to work on be­half of com­mu­nity’s right across Louth. I had the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend his 101st birth­day last Septem­ber and he re­tained a keen in­ter­est in lo­cal af­fairs and na­tional pol­i­tics.’

‘His first elec­tion in 1977 rep­re­sented Fianna Fáil’s great­est suc­cess in Louth and this is some­thing which he was al­ways proud of. The dou­ble ‘F’ was the tra­di­tional logo for Fianna Fáil at that time, but it was the triple ‘F’ logo which many will re­mem­ber in Louth dur­ing the 1977 elec­tion when Fil­gate, Faulkner and Far­rell ran an in­cred­i­ble cam­paign. Fianna Fáil re­turned three seats out of a to­tal of four dur­ing that elec­tion.

‘Ed­die was proud of his roots and lived most of his life in his na­tive vil­lage of Louth, near Dun­dalk. When he mar­ried his wife Elish they lived next to the site of the house he grew up in. Ed­die was one of eleven chil­dren him­self and he and his wife had five chil­dren.

‘ The con­stituents of Louth were al­ways the top pri­or­ity for him dur­ing his time in the Dáil and his many years on Louth County Coun­cil. He was a great com­mu­nity ac­tivist all his life and also served on many sub­sidiary bod­ies of the Lo­cal Au­thor­ity in­clud­ing the lo­cal Louth VEC Com­mit­tee and the Health Board. He served lo­cally and na­tion­ally with great pride.

‘In his early days he was a Sales Man­ager for Ce­ment Road­stone in North Dublin and worked closely with Char­lie Haughey. He was a great his­to­rian and was happy to re­count sto­ries from years gone by.

‘Ed­die will be sadly missed by all that knew him. I would like to of­fer my sym­pa­thies per­son- ally and on be­half of the Fianna Fáil party to Ed­die’s fam­ily.

‘Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin added, “Ed­die is fondly re­mem­bered by all that worked with him in both the Oireach­tas and on the ground in County Louth. He en­tered Dáil Éire­ann at a time of great volatil­ity and fought three Gen­eral Elec­tions within the space of five years. He had a strong sense of civic duty and was proud to rep­re­sent the peo­ple of Louth. On be­half of the Fianna Fáil party I would like to ex­tend my sym­pa­thies to his fam­ily and wide net­work of friends.

Fel­low Louth vil­lage res­i­dent Jim Lennon had also served on Louth County Coun­cil. He was co-opted onto the lo­cal au­thor­ity af­ter the death of his brother Joe in 1990 Dur­ing that time he served as chair­man from 2006/7. He was also widely known in GAA cir­cles as a ref­eree and County Board Chair­man,

He was pre­de­ceased by his par­ents Joseph and Su­san and sib­lings Joe, Pa­tri­cia, Win­nie and Maeve. He is sur­vived by his sis­ter Ita McKe­own.

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath De­clan Breath­nach has ex­pressed his sym­pa­thy at the pass­ing of for­mer Coun­cil­lor Jim Lennon.

‘Jim was co-opted on to the Coun­cil in 1990 af­ter the death of his late brother Joe Lennon,’ he re­called, ‘He won his first Coun­cil Elec­tion in 1991 the same year as my­self. We were both in the same elec­toral area for more than 10 years un­til the new bound­aries were in­tro­duced.’

‘We would have worked very closely to­gether de­spite our party dif­fer­ences. It was al­ways a plea­sure to work with Jim and he al­ways had the in­ter­ests of his com­mu­nity at heart. He also served as Chair­man of the Coun­cil from 2006-2007.’

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