Tributes paid following death of Ballybay town councillor Noel Duffy

22 October 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Tributes have been paid to Ballybay town councillor Noel Duffy following the long-serving Fine Gael representative’s untimely death on Monday morning last.

A motion of sympathy was unanimously passed at a specially convened meeting of Ballybay Town Council attended by all the members on Monday night, where the atmosphere was made all the more poignant by the fact that Cllr Duffy played an active part at the monthly meeting only a week earlier.

On that occasion he had expressed delight at returning to the chamber, after being unable to attend the previous two meetings due to his illness, and it had been noted that his record of attendance over the years had up until that point been virtually unblemished.

Ballybay Town Mayor Michael Smyth recalled that Cllr Duffy had, as ever, relished the cut and thrust of last week’s meeting, where he displayed his usual attributes of refusing to shy away from the hard questions. He was characterised by gentleness, sensitivity and innate decency, and was someone who epitomised all that was noble about public service.

Mary McGinnity spoke of the passion that Noel had for his town, describing him as a very loyal colleague who was always concerned about doing what was right. He would be sorely missed as a representative for the town.

Michael Gilmour said that there were many fine things that could be said about his party colleague, but first and foremost he would always remember Noel as a friend who cared deeply about his town. Noel had been very supportive to Cllr Gilmour when he joined the council and that was typical of the man.

Sean Conlan said he always admired Noel and his tremendous dedication to the town and the Fine Gael party. He would be missed greatly in the council for his dedication to issues which were of concern to the town.

Gerry Traynor said Noel and he were friends first and foremost. He admired Noel’s great integrity and his capacity to do and say what he felt was right.

Gene Duffy said that while he and Noel had very different political views, Noel was somebody that he always admired and respected.

Cathal O’Friel said he had known Noel in the first instance from when he ran his pub, while he got to know him even better when they served together on the town council. He always found Noel to be a decent and honourable man, and he respected his willingness to speak his mind on issues of concern to the town.

Therese Hamilton said that she met Noel every morning, as they worked near one another, and that she would miss him very much. He had always been concerned about the betterment of his town.

All the speakers offered their sincere condolences to the late Cllr Duffy’s wife Liz and to his children Padraig, Dearbhla and Caoimhe, and also to his Fine Gael party colleagues.

Town Manager John Murray, Town Clerk Teresa McGuirk and Town Engineer Declan McKernan said they wished to be associated with all the sentiments that had been expressed.

The meeting was adjourned and followed by a minute’s silence.

Cllr Duffy’s funeral Mass was held at St Patrick’s Church, Ballybay following the removal from his home yesterday (Wednesday) morning, and he was laid to rest afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

(See page 29 for fourther tributes paid to the late Cllr Duffy).

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