Labour Cllr Bowe, aged 60, was Cathaoirleach of Mountmellick Town Council, and a member of Laois County Council and Laois VEC. He was attending a national tourism conference in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, Clare when he fell ill on Saturday morning in his room.
Fellow county councillor Alan Hand went to get medication, but on his return, was shocked to find Cllr Bowe had passed away. It is believed he may have had a cardiac arrest.
“He had complained of heartburn and indigestion, it is easy to say now but I suppose they were tell tale signs,” said Cllr Hand. He alerted the hotel manager who sent for paramedics and a priest.
“It all happened in the blink of an eye, I was shaking afterwards. He will be a huge loss to Mountmellick, he was highly thought of in the community, he was a hard worker. He was an expert in social welfare and tax affairs, giving people advice. He was a town councillor for many years, and made the breakthrough to county council in 2009, but he didn’t get elected by fluke, he was always working for the people.
He was one in a million, it will be hard to find somebody to replace him,” Cllr Hand said.
Also attending the conference was Fianna Fáil Cllr Seamus McDonald.
“I was very shocked. We were close friends for a long number of years, despite our affiliation to different parties, he had Christmas dinner at my house this year. He was a great worker, he did a lot for Mountmellick and the surrounding areas,” he said.
A father of three, Cllr Bowe lived alone in College Avenue. A former showband manager, at one time he delivered bread for Shiel’s Bakery.
He was elected to Mountmellick Town Council three decades ago, as an independent candidate. He later joined the Fine Gael party, before shifting to Labour in 2009 when he was elected as a county councillor.
His funeral takes place tomorrow Wednesday, and is expected to be attended by many political and council figures as well as the local community, with guards of honour by his colleagues.
Cllr Bowe will repose in Moloney’s Funeral Home from 9am until his removal at 11.45am to St Josephs Church for Requiem Mass at 12 O’Clock. Funeral afterwards to St Josephs Cemetery. See page 2