Former Lord Mayor mourns passing of 'great Cork character'

Former Lord Mayor mourns passing of 'great Cork character'
Sean O'Leary playing guitar with the Knocknaheeny Holyhill folk group.

Former Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald took to Twitter to lament the loss of a great Cork character Sean O’Leary this morning.

Posting on social media, Mr Fitzgerald described Mr O’Leary who was in his late sixties, as “a gentleman, fabulous musician, great community man, friend and family man.”

The Knocknaheeny man, originally from Farranree, was well known for his musical talents and generous kind spirit.

Speaking about Mr O’Leary whom he had known for the past 40 years, Mr Fitzgerald said Sean’s death was a personal loss to him, a huge loss to his own family and a sad loss to the community.

Sean O'Leary playing guitar with the Knocknaheeny Holyhill folk group.
Sean O'Leary playing guitar with the Knocknaheeny Holyhill folk group.

“He was very popular in the community, he sang at a lot of weddings, the tributes are coming in fast for him.

“He was an avid Manchester United fan and he loved Cork GAA. He was always in good spirits, always joking.” 

Sean played in a popular Cork band The Partners in the 1980s and 1990s and later in life focused on sharing his skills with the local church, playing guitar in the Folk group that performed every Sunday.

Local parish priest Fr Greg Howard described Sean as a “very dignified, much-loved parishioner” who was very talented and obliging.

“He was a pianist and a guitarist and he was always willing to help out. It is very sad for us who knew him so well.” 

Mr O’Leary was also involved in the Knocknaheeny Youth Project and only retired two years ago. 

He died from an illness he had been fighting for two years and leaves behind his wife Rose, daughter Georgina, son Johnathan and grandchildren Emily, Zoe, John and Tommy.
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