Seanad debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

1:00 pm

Photo of Aisling DolanAisling Dolan (Fine Gael)

This is a very sad week in which we have lost an absolute giant in the world of sport and politics, John O'Mahony. Our deepest sympathies go to John's wife, Geraldine, his daughters and all the O'Mahony family on their loss. Many Oireachtas colleagues knew him well and have spoken of their feeling of loss. His death is shocking to many because he was only in his early 70s. He grew up with a love of football and for Fine Gael. He lived on the boundary between counties Mayo and Roscommon. His was the last house in the parish of Kilmovee. With his family, he chose to make Ballaghaderreen his home. He took on the role of manager of the Galway football team and brought it to all-Ireland glory in 1998 and 2001. He stood successfully for election as TD for Mayo in 2007 and 2011. He was nominated to Seanad Éireann in 2016 by the then Mayo Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. He was able to motivate and inspire people and players. He represented the west with pride.

His continued interest in public life and supporting new candidates was evident when I met him a couple of months ago. He took the time and had the passion to be there for his relative, Councillor Gareth Scahill, when he launched his local election campaign in Tully's Hotel in Castlerea. John was so proud when Gareth won his seat in the elections for Roscommon municipal district. He was an iconic guest of honour at that launch. He also launched Councillor Alan Harney's campaign in Gullane's Hotel in Ballinasloe. John spoke at the launch about his memory of stopping in Ballinasloe after the all-Ireland win in 1998. It was the first town in Galway the team reached on its return. I remember being there with my dad and other family members.

John was well loved in many counties, including Mayo, Galway and Roscommon. He was a champion. His goal was excellence as a player, manager and public representative for Fine Gael. As the senior Fine Gael Oireachtas representative for Roscommon and Galway, I pay him tribute. I echo the many accolades paid by colleagues to John O'Mahony, former Deputy and former Seanadóir. May he rest in peace.

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