Monday 22 April 2019

South Sligo has lost a dedicated and true champion

Tributes flow in for a tireless campaigner for rural South Sligo

Paul Deering

Tributes have flowed in for the late Margaret Gormley, long serving councillor from Bunninadden who passed away at her home last Friday.

Removal took place on Monday to the Church of the Sacred Heart, Bunninadden, arriving for Mass of the Resurrection at 12 noon with burial after in Cloonameehan Cemetery.

Cllr. Gormley's dedication and commitment to South Sligo has been recalled in the many testimonials paid to her both inside and outside the council chamber.

Cllr Gormley was held in the highest esteem in her community and was a constant advocate for services in South Sligo, the retention of many and the lobbying for many more.

The Gormley family connection with Sligo County Council goes back to 1942, when Margaret's late father Willie, was first elected to the Council. Margaret was co-opted onto the Council in 1980 and successfully contested every subsequent local election since. She was elected Cathaoirleach in 2004.

The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Martin Baker said it was with a heavy heart he heard the news of Margaret's passing.

"Margaret was one of the most committed and hard working people I knew.

"She represented the people of South Sligo with great distinction.

"She had vast experience which shone through in the Council Chamber, and when she spoke, we listened.

"She was a great champion for the underdog or people struggling in any way.

"One of her many interests was in Gaelic Football, she was one of the first in the county to promote ladies football, and she supported it with great passion and enthusiasm. We won't see the like of her again."

Ciarán Hayes, Chief Executive of the Council, spoke of his 'privilege' to have known her.

"She represented her constituents with tenacity and had a determination and drive to see rural Sligo prosper the same as the regional capital.

"She had a sincerity that was refreshing and a respect for people.

"While she has been ill for some time, her sudden passing has left a cloud over County Buildings and a welcome presence around the offices has been replaced by a void that will take some time to fill.

"On my own behalf and on behalf of staff, all of whom held her in high esteem, I extend my sympathies and condolences to her family.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a ainm dílís."

Sligo Ladies GAA in a statement said the footballing world was shattered on hearing of the untimely passing of everyone's friend, Margaret Gormley.

"A more passionate Gael would be hard found. Margaret travelled the length and breadth of the county and indeed the country supporting ladies football over the past 26 years.

"She was always advocating on behalf of ladies football and supported many of us in both our successes and our failures.

"Sincere sympathy to her extended family and especially nieces Margaret, Noelle and Aine, all of whom have made invaluable contributions to Sligo LGFA," said a statement.

Sligo Champion