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Limerick councillor and publican Jerry O’Dea to be laid to rest on the day he was to become mayor

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Jerry O'Dea

Jerry O'Dea

Jerry O'Dea

Funeral arrangements have been announced for well-known publican and Limerick mayor in waiting Jerry O’Dea (55) who died suddenly on Saturday.

The Fianna Fáil councillor will be laid to rest on Thursday, the same day he was due to be elected Mayor of Limerick City and County during a scheduled annual meeting of the joint local authority.

The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, led tributes to Cllr O’Dea, a former student at the Shannon College of Hotel Management, who was first elected to Limerick City and County Council in 2014, and retained his seat in 2019, describing him as a “proud Limerick city man and active supporter of a wide array of city sports clubs, community groups and charities”.

The remains of the father of two, who was also widely known through his previous titles as Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick (2015), Chair of the Limerick branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, and Chair of the Limerick Milk Market, will repose at Cross’s Funeral Home, Gerald Griffin Street, from 4pm-7pm, Wednesday, June 29.

The funeral cortège is scheduled to arrive at St John’s Cathedral, for 1pm funeral mass on Thursday, and will pause outside Mr O’Dea’s pub on Mulgrave Street as it makes its way afterwards from the cathedral to Crecora Cemetery.

Books of condolences were opened online, and at the Council’s offices Monday, and, “as a mark of respect, the Irish flag is flying at half-mast outside the Council’s offices in Merchant’s Quay and Dooradoyle”, said a Council spokesman.

Tracy Hegarty, Shanon College of Hotel Management, Co Clare, paid tribute in an online book of condolences, describing Mr O’Dea’s sudden passing as “such desperately sad news”.

“Jerry always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, ever since I got to know him as a fellow student in Shannon College back in 1986, his untimely loss is mounted by so many,” Ms Hegarty wrote.

Outgoing Limerick mayor, Fine Gael Cllr Daniel Butler, said he was “shocked and saddened” at the news, adding: “It’s very difficult to get your head around such tragic news, and our thoughts are with Jerry’s family and friends and his party colleagues at this terrible time, we are all in total shock.

“Since being elected, Jerry prioritised working with communities right across Limerick to help them develop, as he believed that a stronger and better Limerick was built from the ground up. Sporting and local groups were central to this, they will all miss his important advice and guidance.”

Mr O’Dea is survived by his father John Joe, daughter Katherine and son JD and their mother Sinéad.

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