Portlaoise 'Old Stock' - a fond tribute to the late politician Joe 'Hesh' McCormack by his neighbour Cllr Noel Tuohy

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

The late Joe the Hesh McCormack on the campaign trail.

The late Joe the Hesh McCormack on the campaign trail.

Portlaoise Labour Party county councillor Noel Tuohy has paid a fond tribute to the late Joe 'Hesh' McCormack, whose funeral takes place this week.

"Phrases like legend and old stock are bandied about for almost anything these days but Joe 'Hesh' McCormack was both these things . I started school with his son PJ and we were neighbours in Marian Place for years .

"Coming from St. John's Sq, he also lived in England before eventually moving to the Borris Rd. His Mother was a neighbour of my Granny on the Well Rd. Old Stock indeed.

"He became a legend in politics in Portlaoise running in many elections having success being a Town Councillor and the distinction of becoming Mayor of Portlaoise . He also polled almost 1500 votes in a Bi Election with no major party behind him.

"Dr. Noel Browne wrote a book called 'Swimming against the Tide', that's was Joe did, he swam against the tide .

"I had a few conversations with him, he was articulate and well read. He was one of the great characters in the Town from a time when everyone knew everyone else. It may be through rose tinted glasses but this Town when I was growing up to me was a place where most families had little material goods but we all helped each other and when I look back to my early years a number of great characters were around and Joe Hesh McCormack was one of them.

"To his family I extend my condolences. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam," concluded the councillor.

Read further tributes here. For funeral details, click here.