Wednesday 22 November 2017

Ireland's longest serving councillor dies in hospital, six months after holiday accident

Cllr Sean McEniff
Cllr Sean McEniff
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

Tributes have been paid to a well-known councillor who died in hospital today.

Donegal Cllr Sean McEniff (81) sustained injuries while holidaying in Spain last October.

Having been transferred to Dublin from Spain he was later moved to Sligo University Hospital but had then returned to hospital in Dublin earlier this month. The Fianna Fáil politician died on Friday afternoon.

Party Leader Micheál Martin expressed his sympathy to the family and friends of the Donegal politician.

Having been first elected to Donegal County Council in 1967 he was the longest serving Councillor in Ireland.

Deputy Martin commented: “This is an extremely difficult time for Sean’s family and I wish to extend my sincere sympathies to them. Seán was a proud Donegal man and played an integral role in the promotion and development of business and tourism in the county and the North West region.

"His experience and expertise in these areas saw him appointed Chairman of North West Tourism in 1986 – a post he held for two decades. He was also awarded the title of Donegal Person of the Year in 1996 – an accolade I know he was particularly proud of.

“Seán was our longest serving Councillor, first elected to Donegal County Council in 1967 and subsequently re-elected on seven occasions, most recently in the 2014 local elections. This record alone is testament to the work he undertook across the community, and the respect in which he was held by the people of Bundoran.

“On behalf of myself and the Fianna Fáil organisation I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Seán’s family and wide circle of friends."

It is with shock and sadness today that we have learned of the death of our fellow colleague and friend Cllr Sean McEnif," said Cllr Niamh Kennedy, on behalf of the Donegal Municipal District.

"Cllr McEniff was a member of the Donegal Municipal District and during his absence he was considered and thought of at every MD meeting and workshop, work continued with Cllr McEniffs wishes respected by all his colleagues," said the Chairperson.

"Cllr McEniff was a witty character with a great big smile, a hard worker on top of his game, always promoting his beloved Bundoran. Sean will be sadly missed by many and there will be an everlasting void in this chamber. It really is the end of an era, we extend our sincerest sympathies to Sean’s family, friends and supporters of which he had many. It is the end of an era of a remarkable man. May he Rest in Peace," added Cllr Kennedy.

Donegal Councillor Terence Slowey said: "It's a very sad day in Donegal. He was the longest serving councillor in Ireland, it was a very long political career. He was a very prominent business man in the tourist industry in Donegal as well."

"He was a people person. He said to me last year he loved coming to the meetings, he enjoyed politics, he enjoyed people and he was great company. It's the end of an era for us in Donegal."

Cllr McEniff will be waked on Saturday and Sunday in his home in Bundoran.

His removal will be on Monday at 11.30am, and the funeral mass will be in Bundoran.

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