WARM tributes were paid by members of Sligo County Council on Monday to the late Tommy Lavin who had served as a councillor for 36 years.
The monthly meeting was then adjourned for a week as a mark of respect. The late Mr Lavin’s daughter Anne, a member of the council staff, was present at the meeting as her father was remembered fondly.
Councillor Dara Mulvey proposed they suspend standing orders and adjourn the meeting as a mark of respect.
He recalled that Tommy Lavin served as a member of the council for 36 years and was a well known and highly respected businessman and member of the Ballymote community.
He was first co-opted to the council in 1963 and retained his seat until 1999. He was Cathaoirleach in 1984 and in 1992.
Cllr Mulvey referred to him playing a big part in rural water schemes and bringing the supply of the Lough Talt scheme to Ballymote.
“Prior to this people outside the towns had no piped water supply and would have had to travel miles to collect water in barrels and bring them home daily.”
He said Tommy Lavin also was a very successful businessman in Ballymote from the late 1950s when he opened a draper shop with his late wife Carmel. His son John now along with his sisters still carry on this successful business today in Ballymote.
“Tommy Lavin gave great service to this Council. His key attributes were his great understanding, his concern and respect for everyone”, he said.
Fellow Fine Gael councillor Sinead Maguire seconded the adjournment proposal.
Cllr Seamus Kilgannon said that his first year on the council co-incided with Tommy Lavin’s last one.
“He will be fondly remembered as a most experienced and hard-working councillor, one who was respected and admired”, he said.
He also described him as a “master practitioner in the art of politics”.
Cllr Margaret Gormley pointed out that she and Cllr Kilgannon and Cllr Declan Bree were the only councillors left who had served with the late Tommy Lavin.
She described him as a true gentleman who had served the people of the Ballymote area with “honesty and sincerity” and always had the interests of people at heart.
She said that Cllr Bree, who was unable to attend the meeting, had asked to be associated with the tributes to Mr Lavin.
The other councillors present, cathaoirleach Hubert Keaney, Michael Clarke, Chris MacManus, Marie Casserly, Keith Henry, Roslaeen O’Grady, Jerry Lundy and Gino O’Boyle, as well as CEO Ciaran Hayes, also joined the tributes.