Today is a sad day for the Labour Party in Carlow/Kilkenny, with the passing of our most senior councillor in the constituency. Michael Meaney from beautiful Borris on the Carlow/Kilkenny border passed away yesterday morning. We were due to have the Graignamanagh A.G.M. of the party yesterday afternoon, always one of the highlights of the year as it is one of the strongest and liveliest branches we have. Instead, the meeting paid tribute to Michael in a very fulsome way. Michael did after all represent the other side of the river Barrow, across the bridge in Tinnahinch, and many of the older members like John Bolger and Ned Fenlon remembered him bursting onto the scene in the early 70's.
Michael was known as a phenomenally hard worker, who built up an incredibly loyal support, topping the poll on all but one of the five or six local elections he contested. He also carried the banner for the party in the 1982 General election, polling almost 2,000 votes. He was never a boring figure, well able to win the headlines with sound-bites before they became a fashionable part of politics. He also had great wit, and took no prisoners in debate. He will be sorely missed by us all, and when his coffin is draped in the blue and white 'starry plough' flag of our party, he will have done more to earn that right than many others.