Taoiseach Micheál Martin is among those who have paid tribute to a West Cork politician, who has passed away just a week after his wife.
Former TD Paddy Sheehan has died at the age of 87.
Paddy Sheehan served the Cork South West constituency from 1981 to 2002, and again from 2007 to 2011 when he retired saying: “It would be in the best interests of Fine Gael, and myself, if I was to pass on the mantle to the next generation.”
His passion was West Cork’s tourism and culture, and he also spoke out for fishing and agriculture industries in the Dáil.
He had been involved in politics for most of his life, having first been elected to Cork County Council in 1967.
Senator Tim Lombard served with Paddy Sheehan on Cork County Council when Mr Sheehan was County Mayor, and said he was “a real charismatic individual.” Mr Lombard pointed to the decades of service Mr Sheehan had put in, serving in the 80s, 90s and 00s in the Dáil.
He also spoke of Paddy’s wife Frances who passed away just last week.
“It’s obviously a very tough time for the family. They went everywhere together. Frances and Paddy would have tracked to Dublin every Tuesday and back every Thursday. They would have done the Fine Gael meetings all over West Cork together, so in many ways for the two of them to pass away within seven days of each other is somewhat ironic,” Senator Lombard said.
“Frances was the real steady, hardworking lady and she minded Paddy on the long, winding road to Dublin back in the 80s and 90s,” he added.
The Leader of Fine Gael, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD, has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Paddy Sheehan.
He described him as “a stalwart of West Cork Fine Gael.” “I served alongside Paddy between 2007-11. Our offices were on the same floor and I got to know him and Frances well. He was a wonderful character, the likes of whom we will not see again. I only spoke to him last week to offer my condolences on her passing. They are together again,” he said.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has paid tribute to former Cork South West TD Paddy Sheehan following his passing.
He said he was saddened to hear of the death of Mr Sheehan, and called him "an outstanding public representative".
"He was very diligent and hard working, and was a fearless advocate for his native West Cork.
“Paddy had a warm personality, wit and was blessed with a great sense of humour. He was a very decent and likeable man," the Taoiseach said.
“His passing comes so soon after the death of his wife Frances. They were a great couple who went everywhere and did everything together. Both of them will be sadly missed.
“I wish to extend my sympathies to Paddy’s family and friends."
The couple are survived by their children Diarmuid, Deirdre, Eucharia, and Maebh.