When Mountmellick Town Councillors had a few Christmas drinks after their December meeting, little did they think that one of them would have passed away before they assembled again.
So noted Le‡s Cathaoirleach Rosemary Whelan at the Town Council February meeting last Thursday night. She led her colleagues in paying tribute to Cllr Pat Bowe who died unexpectedly a few weeks ago.
As a mark of respect to their deceased Chairman, members observed a minute’s silence and adjourned proceedings until Monday night (last night).
“There is a huge aire of sadness over the chamber here this evening,” stated Cllr Whelan. “He (Cllr Bowe) was a great advocate for the people of Mountmellick.”
Cllr Denis O’Mara described Pat Bowe as a larger than life character. He added: “Unfortunately he is not here with us tonight, but he is in spirit, hopefully. Irrespective of politics, his door was open to everybody.”
Cllr Paddy Bracken: “He always worked for the betterment of the town. I found him most agreeable and supportive. His great achievement was to have been made Cathaoirleach of Mountmellick Town Council. He is a huge loss to the people who elected him and to the area.”
Cllr Marc Connolly: “It’s the first time in 20 years that I have to pay tribute to the Chairman midway through his term. He (Cllr Bowe) had mellowed over the last few years. He did himself and his part proud as Chairman. He will be forever a Town Councillor. His whole life revolved around politics.”
Cllr Stephen Lynch: “No matter what party you were in, Pat rowed in with everyone to solve a problem.”
Cllr Michael Gormley: “I knew him for over 30 years. I always found him very fair and helpful. He helped a lot of people in the town.”
Cllr Ollie Payne: “Anything I ever asked for from Pat, he always did it for me. He will be sorely missed in Mountmellick. Had he lived, he had the potential to go far in politics. He was very talented.”
Cllr Bobby Delaney: “Pat brought colour to election times with his keyrings and biros...I remember the great smile on his face as he was getting the Chair. He was really, really proud that night. Is is possible to put up a photo of Pat, maybe with a little plaque?”
Deputy Co Manager Ian McCormack: “He was a very good Chairman. I was very impressed with how well prepared he would be.”
Town Clerk Pamela Tynan and Town Engineer Dermot Leonard associated themselves with the tributes to Cllr Bowe.