FORMER chairman of Dublin GAA and Fine Gael councillor for Dún Laoghaire John Bailey has passed away.
Mr Bailey, who was in his 70s, had been battling illness in recent months, but continued to be active in politics.
He was re-elected in to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in the local elections just six weeks ago.
He was a member of the local authority for the past 15 years having been first elected in 2004 on the same day that his daughter Maria Bailey, now a Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, was also elected to the county council.
Mr Bailey, who grew up in Dalkey, had a diverse career in the private sector prior to entering politics and was also heavily involved in Dublin GAA.
A former publican and registered Irish racehorse trainer, he was a former managing director of Brendan Tours Limited and Budget Rent-A-Car.
Mr Bailey was a long-time member of Cuala GAA Club in Dalkey and served as chairman of the Dublin GAA county board for a decade. He initiated the redevelopment of Parnell Park and helped to secure significant investment in promoting juvenile participation in the sport.
Described by Fine Gael as a loyal supporter of the party throughout his life, he was appointed by its former leader Enda Kenny to the party’s Dublin Task Force as vice chairperson in the early 2000s where he contributed to a plan to rejuvenate the party in Dublin following its disastrous general election performance in 2002.
In his role as a county councillor, Mr Bailey was said to have worked closely with the public, community groups and residents’ associations in his constituency. He frequently held clinics with his daughter Maria, with whom he was closely-aligned politically. Mr Bailey worked as Ms Bailey’s parliamentary assistant after she was elected to the Dáil in 2016.
He twice ran unsuccessful for the Dáil in the Dún Laoghaire constituency in the 2002 and 2007 general elections. He also ran unsuccessfully for the Seanad in 2002 and 2007. However, he was re-elected to the council in every local election dating back to 2004 including in 2009 and 2014 and most-recently the 2019 local elections.
He was described during the most recent election campaign as "an amazing man and a great councillor" by the Tánaiste Simon Coveney whom Mr Bailey supported during the Fine Gael leadership campaign two years ago.
Mr Bailey lived in Killiney with his family. He is survived by his wife Angela and their five daughters.