Harney in tribute to 'mentor' Molloy
Former Tánaiste Mary Harney has paid a warm tribute to "her great friend and political mentor" Bobby Molloy.
Mr Molloy, who served for 37 years as a TD and served in several governments, died aged 80 after a long illness. He will be waked at home in Galway this afternoon from 3 to 7pm and will be buried in Bohermore Cemetery after Mass in the Cathedral at 12 noon tomorrow.
Ms Harney recalled that she and colleague Des O'Malley got a great boost from Mr Molloy's decision to abandon Fianna Fáil and join them in founding the Progressive Democrats in January 1986.
"He gave us a legitimacy and political credibility we were lacking. A lot of people thought Des O'Malley and I were mad. But when they saw Bobby joining us they began to think differently," she said.
The former PD leader said Mr Molloy played a crucial role in negotiating coalition deals in 1989 and 1997, long before coalition governments became the norm.
Despite all three politicians leaving Fianna Fáil in part due to rows with Charlie Haughey, they later managed to collaborate well in government.
Tributes have been paid to Mr Molloy by people in all sectors of Irish public life.