Thursday 25 April 2019

Hundreds pay respects to veteran former Fianna Fáil TD and junior minister Jackie Fahey

Jackie Fahey won his first election when he was only 21
Jackie Fahey won his first election when he was only 21

Ralph Riegel

Hundreds have paid their respects to veteran former Fianna Fáil TD and junior minister, Jackie Fahey (91).

Mr Fahey, who died on Monday, was removed tonight from Kiely's funeral home in Dungarvan, Co Waterford to St Mary's Parish Church.

He will be buried after 11am Requiem Mass on Thursday.

Amongst the mourners were politicians from Waterford, Tipperary, Cork and Dublin who had served alongside Mr Fahey during his six decade career in public office.

A native of Clonmel, he was first elected to the Dáil in Tipperary in 1965.

He later switched to the Waterford constituency in 1977 but was elected thanks to the tidal wave of public support enjoyed by then

Fianna Fáil leader Jack Lynch in a landslide victory.

However, Mr Fahey was one of the so-called 'Gang of Five' who later lobbied for Charles Haughey to take over the party leadership - a major factor in stirring unrest against the Lynch leadership and which, following a number of critical by-election defeats, prompted the Cork politician to retire.

Mr Fahey was rewarded by Mr Haughey with the appointment as Junior Environment Minister in 1979, a post he held for two years.

The father of eight was also a candidate in the then-Munster constituency in the 1989 European Parliament election.

He lost his Dáil seat in 1992 by just 402 votes to then ProgressiveDemocrat Martin Cullen.

Ironically, Mr Cullen would later switch parties to Fianna Fáil and go on to serve as Environment Minister and Transport Minister under then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Mr Fahey did not contest the 1997 election.

He is mourned by his wife, Ita, his children Sean, Brian, Ciaran, Deirdre, Sheila, Maeve and Grainne and stepsons, Joseph, Laurence and Jackie.

Mr Fahey was predeceased by his wife, Maura, and his son, PJ.

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