Thursday 14 November 2019

Tributes paid to former councillor

Sadness and shock throughout county at sudden passing of former Fianna Fáil county councillor Joe Shannon

Paul Deering

Tributes have been paid to former councillor Joe Shannon who passed away suddenly last Saturday.

Mr Shannon was co-opted onto Sligo County Council in 1982 after the death of his father, Joe Shannon.

He retained the seat until 1991 and was co-opted once in 2003 following the departure of Eamon Scanlon who became a Senator.

Mr Shannon was a native of Mahanagh, Cloonloo, Gurteen but had moved to Jamestown, County Leitrim in recent years where he became heavily involved in the local St. Mary's GAA Club having previously been with Eastern Harps.

The St Mary's club has paid tribute to Mr. Shannon saying he was "one of life's true gentlemen."

He is survived by his Wife Fiona, daughter Melissa and son Daire, mother Eilish, brothers Eamonn and David (Cloonloo), Brendan (Holland), sister Margaret Melia (Carrick-on-Shannon) and extended relatives.

St Mary's Kiltoghert GAA club led the tributes. In a statement it said it was with profound sadness it had learned of the very sad and untimely passing of its Club Treasurer and good friend Joe Shannon.

"While Joe was first and foremost a father, husband, son, brother, neighbour and indeed a true friend to so many, he embedded all the personal qualities and attributes, required for these roles, into our GAA club.

"Joe, originally from Cloonloo, Gurteen, Co Sligo, loved GAA and was a very proud Eastern Harps man.

"In later years he became one of our own and was proud to call St. Mary's his club and he immersed himself in all aspects of club life and was an almost permanent presence at games at all levels.

"Indeed, for many of us it was difficult to grasp the seriousness of the illness, Joe fought so hard to overcome, such was his outlook and selfless disposition every time we encountered him.

"Joe will always be described as one of life's true gentlemen, always with a smile on his face and his gentle ways were contagious to everyone who met him.

"He held a number of officer roles in our club over the years such as assistant treasurer and most recently treasurer, but possibly his proudest role was chairman of our Oskars committee in 2017. His presence at meetings converted the traditional meeting room into a sanctuary, filled with fun and laughter and when worry would set in about potential sponsors and ticket sales leading up to the event, Joe was always the calm among the storm. Panic was averted and a very successful and thoroughly enjoyable night came to fruition.

"Today we lost our Treasurer but more importantly a dear, dear friend and a valued and loyal member of our club. We hope and trust that Joe's spirit will live on in our club in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

"To Joe's heartbroken family, his wife Fiona, daughter Melissa and son Daire and to the extended Shannon and McNamee families we offer our deepest sympathy and the knowledge that the whole Club is with you all in this extremely difficult time."

Sligo Champion