Sunday 24 September 2017

Death of former Lord Mayor Fergus O'Brien

Fergus O’Brien. Photo: Tom Burke
Fergus O’Brien. Photo: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

Former Lord Mayor of Dublin and Government Chief Whip Fergus O'Brien, has died aged 86.

Mr O'Brien was a life-long Fine Gael activist and began as a supporter of the former Taoiseach John A Costello in Dublin South East. He was elected to this constituency as a TD in 1973, and switched to the adjoining Dublin South Central constituency in 1977 after boundary changes.

In this constituency he and party colleague, Gay Mitchell, often competed for votes. Mr O'Brien was renowned for his direct approach to politics and did not shrink from conflict.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny paid tribute to Mr O'Brien, whom he described as "a friend and mentor" especially in his own early days in politics.

Mr Kenny described him as "the quintessential Dubliner" who loved engaging with working class people and helping resolve personal and community problems.

Mr O'Brien served as Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1981/82. "He was at his best campaigning in the Liberties where he had huge support in his day," one former colleague recalled yesterday.

He lost his Dáil seat in February 1982, in the second of three general elections held within 18 months. But he regained the seat in November 1982 and held it at subsequent elections until his retirement from politics in June 1992. He had a keen interest in all sports, but especially rugby, and was a great supporter of St Mary's RFC.

Irish Independent

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