CORK City Council has opened a book of condolences for former Lord Mayor of Cork, Toddy O’Sullivan who sadly passed over the weekend.
Toddy O’Sullivan, a former Labour TD and minister of state, died at the age of 87.
A major political figure in Cork in the 1980s and 1990s, Mr O'Sullivan served as a TD in the city for 16 years and was lord mayor from 1980 to 1981.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin described him as a "mentor and friend".
The late Mr O’Sullivan was a stalwart of the Labour Party in Cork and widely respected across all political parties. He was a member of the Post Office Workers Union (now CWU) and his base was on Barrack Street in the city centre.
He had attended the nearby Greenmount National School.
Toddy was elected in the Cork South West electoral area of Cork Corporation in 1974 with 585 first preferences, taking the second seat.
He was elected again in the 1979 local elections, more than doubling his previous vote to 1,199 first preferences and becoming the first Councillor returned for the ward.
Alderman Toddy O’Sullivan first stood for the Dáil in the 1979 Cork City bye-election after the death of Labour TD Patrick Kerrigan, more than doubling the Labour vote from 10.2% to 22.6% but not taking a seat.
He went on to serve as a very successful Lord Mayor of Cork in 1980 and was elected to the Dáil a year later when he topped the poll in Cork North Central with a young Fergus Finlay as his public relations officer.
Finlay later described him as ‘a man who radiated decency and integrity and who made an outstanding success of his term as Lord Mayor’.
Toddy O’Sullivan served 16 years as a TD and was re-elected five times. He moved to Cork South Central in 1987 and was elected Chair of the Parliamentary Party in 1989.
He served as Minister of State at the Department of the Environment from February 1986 to January 1987, as Minister of State at the Department of Tourism and Trade in the Rainbow Government and as Chairman of the Enterprise and Economic Strategy Committee.
Paying tribute to the late Toddy, Labour leader Alan Kelly said:
"Cork has lost a true gentleman, and someone who always worked hard for his city," Mr Kelly said.
"He went on to serve as a very successful Lord Mayor of the city he loved in 1980,” Mr Kelly added.
Independent city councillor, Mick Finn, also a former Lord Mayor, said:
“Toddy was an icon of Cork public life who served his city - and particularly Cork South Central - so well as a councillor, Lord Mayor, TD and junior minister.
“Cork has lost a giant of Cork politics, community and trade unionism. Condolences to his wife Esther, family, friends and Labour Party colleagues past and present,” he added.