Councillors pay tribute to Albert - ‘a man of action’

The late Albert Reynolds pictured presenting the late Nelson Mandela, who was then President of South Africa, with a bog oak sculpture that was produced by Casey's Sculptors in Newtonwncashel.
Countless tributes may have already been paid since his passing last month, but the messages of appreciation towards the late Albert Reynolds just keep on coming.

Countless tributes may have already been paid since his passing last month, but the messages of appreciation towards the late Albert Reynolds just keep on coming.

This week, it was the turn of Longford’s current crop of county councillors as local authority members returned from their summer break.

As revealed by the Leader last week, Fianna Fail and the council’s three Independent representatives who hold the balance of power, had previously agreed to adjourn the first monthly meeting on foot of Mr Reynolds’s death on August 21 last.

Perhaps not surprisingly it was party spokesman Cllr Seamus Butler who proposed the meeting’s adjournment, a call which was seconded by Cllr Luie McEntire.

“Albert was a man of action, he was a doer,” said Cllr Butler, as he recalled the father of seven’s early life as well as business and political achievements.

One of those he said which may have gone unnoticed was the fact Mr Reynolds was the first person to assume chairmanship of the hugely successful Mall project from 1974-75.

Besides focusing on the former Taoiseach’s life and times, Cllr Butler even quoted extracts from Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and Mr Reynolds himself following his resignation as Taoiseach in 1994.

“I am what I am... a risk-taker. I believe that if you are not a risk-taker, you will achieve nothing.

“I am quite happy that having taken the risks, the successes have far outweighed the failures.”

There were glowing words too from Mr Reynolds’s long time political adversaries, Fine Gael.

Cllr Micheal Carrigy said it was unfortunate a person’s contribution to everyday life, such as the “immense” part played by Mr Reynolds, was all too frequently remembered upon their passing.

Chief Executive Officer, Tim Caffrey said two particular elements had struck him when attending Mr Reynolds’s recent funeral in Dublin.

One was the importance family was to Mr Reynolds. The other centred on the momentuous decision taken by local politicians to award him the Freedom of Longford in 2007.

“He certainly did not get the recognition he deserved as a TD and as Taoiseach,” said Mr Caffrey.

“He deserved more than that and I am delighted to hear that Longford Town and County Councils gave him that recognition while he was alive.”