Ex-councillor killed in fire was found by son
Tributes have been paid to a father-of-two and former Labour Party councillor who tragically lost his life in a house fire in Limerick city.
Séamus Houlihan was found dead at around 1.30am on Saturday by his son James - also a former councillor - and a neighbour, Ger Conway.
Mr Houlihan, who was in his early 80s, was elected to Limerick City Council in 1998 and was a well-known champion of rights for the elderly.
James Houlihan found the family home on fire as he returned to the property at Rose Court, Keyes Park, Southill, in the early hours of Saturday.
He found the house filled with smoke and his father on a bathroom floor, unresponsive.
The fire is believed to have been accidental and may have started due to an electrical fault with a kitchen appliance.
Mr Conway, who tried to help James bring his father to safety, said: "I could hear James shouting, 'Dad! Dad! Dad!'
"So I jumped out of bed. James opened the door and I was behind him and the smoke came out and hit us.
"The smoke was tremendous."
Paying tribute to Mr Houlihan, Mr Conway said: "It was a terrible thing to happen."
"Séamus was a lovely, quiet man and so was his (late) wife."
Labour TD Jan O'Sullivan said: "Séamus was a very good public representative and a very nice man. After he stopped being a councillor, he was involved in the senior citizens parliament, lobbying politicians about senior citizens' rights."