Former Labour TD Toddy O’Sullivan dies aged 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
Former Labour TD Toddy O’Sullivan dies aged 87

Toddy O’Sullivan, a former Labour TD and minister of state, has died aged 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.

Paying tribute on Sunday morning, Labour leader Alan Kelly recalled getting to know Mr O'Sullivan as a student in University College Cork and said he often visited him at his home over the years.

"Cork has lost a true gentleman, and someone who always worked hard for his city," Mr Kelly said.

"Starting from a low electoral base, Toddy worked assiduously to build the Labour Party in Cork and between the local elections of 1974 and 1979 he more than doubled his first preference vote to 1,199 in the South West ward of Cork Corporation. He went on to serve as a very successful Lord Mayor of the city he loved in 1980.

“A staunch trade unionist, he was always on hand to support his colleagues in the Post Office Workers Union and was rooted in his community in the Barrack Street area in the south inner city."

A stalwart of the Labour Party in Cork, Mr O'Sullivan first stood for the Dáil in the 1979 Cork City by-election after the death of Patrick Kerrigan.

He topped the poll in 1981 and was returned to the Dáil a further five times.

During his time in the Dáil, Mr O'Sullivan served twice as a minister of state, first in the Department of the Environment, and later in the Department of Tourism and Trade.

"Toddy leaves behind a distinguished record of service, nationally and locally, and will continue to be an inspiration to future generations of Labour activists in Cork," said Mr Kelly.

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