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16 Jan 2022

Recent deaths of well known Laois community members marked by council

Recent deaths of well known Laois community members marked by council

Laois County Council County Hall in Portlaoise.

The death of a former Mountmellick Town Councillor was marked by a 15 minute adjournment at the November council meeting.

Fine Gael member Ollie Payne who passed away on November 24, was praised for his community work by Cllr Paddy Bracken.

“Ollie was a colleague of mine for five years, and a great community activist. He was involved in the alarms for the elderly, the GAA, in the very fabric of life in Mountmellick for years. He was a gentleman,” he said.

He noted that the town has suffered several deaths in recent weeks, including Maureen Rochford who died aged 100, and Bill Lawlor aged 94.

“We have had a lot of losses in the community. Mrs Rochford was one of our oldest residents. Bill Lalor was a great community activist, involved in music and in the history of the canal.

“We also had the terrible tragedy of Daragh Lee, a shock to all, he was a fine young fellow. 

“Last but not least, Pat Fitzpatrick, a former Town Clerk with Mountmellick town Council, and stood out in so many voluntary organisations including the MDA,” Cllr Bracken said.

The council Cathaoirleach Cllr Conor Bergin joined in the condolences, noting that Ollie Payne had also been the honorary chairman of Mountmellick GAA.

Cllr Willie Aird also offered sympathies to the family of Pat Fitzpatrick who he noted had worked for over 30 years in the council, describing him as a nice courteous man.

He noted two other local men who recently died also.

“Christy Paisley worked with Laois County Council for over 40 years before the court and was very amenable to everybody.

"Billy Dargan was a legend in the town, a good humoured man who would give anyone a lift. His Portlaoise GAA flag graced the footpath on the Abbeyleix road for many years,” he said.

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