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Birr Fine Gael pays tribute to Tom Enright on 50th anniversary of his election to Council

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Birr Fine Gael pays tribute to Tom Enright on 50th anniversary of his election to Council thumbnailCllr John Clendennen, Rita Enright, Tom Enright, Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Birr District Chairman Brian O'Neill and Constituency Chairman, Jim Buckley at the event in Kinnitty to mark Tom Enright's 50th anniversary of his election to Offaly CC.

FORMER TD, Senator and Councillor, Tom Enright, was honoured at an event in Giltraps Pub Kinnitty recently. The night was organised by Birr District Fine Gael to mark Tom Enright's contribution to Offaly and Irish politics on the 50th anniversary of his election to Offaly County Council in 1967.
Giltraps Pub was very busy on the night with Fine Gael members from across Offaly and Laois in attendance, including Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, along with Tom's family and friends. The Government Chief Whip, Minister Joe McHugh and his wife, former TD Olwyn Enright, travelled from Donegal for the occasion. Tom's constituency colleague for many years and current Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan TD sent his apologies.
The Chairman of Birr Fine Gael District, Brian O'Neill welcomed everyone who travelled from far and wide to pay tribute to the career and long public service of Tom Enright. Mr O'Neill recounted his long association with the Enright family from his time in Shinrone and commended Tom Enright for his distinguished and unblemished representation for the people of Offaly.
Constituency Chairman Jim Buckley reflected on Tom's career in politics and thanked him on behalf of the Fine Gael members past and present for his commitment to Fine Gael party.
Cllr John Clendennen recalled as a child going to GAA matches across the country with his father, former Councillor Percy Clendennen and Tom Enright and he commended Tom for his consistent good humour.
Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy recounted the friendship between her late father and former Councillor Bernard Corcoran and the many exciting and eventful political campaigns at her family home over the years. Marcella recalled being sent as young girl on her bicycle around Ferbane to deliver Tom's leaflets and how it was a formative experience and introduction to public life from an early age.
Marcella acknowledged his lengthy period of unstinting public service as a Councillor, TD and Senator. Deputy Corcoran Kennedy said that it is an honour to serve the people of Offaly and that Tom Enright did so in an exemplary fashion. Marcella concluded that she is lucky to have Tom as a friend and mentor, especially during her time as a Minister and since her election to Dáil Éireann.
Tom Enright spoke about his long political career and thanked his wife Rita and family for their support and commitment over many years. Tom thanked everybody present and took time to remember all those who are no longer with us that worked with him from the beginning. Tom described what motivated him to enter public life as a young politically aware young man. Growing up in Shinrone, Tom spoke about his upbringing and his work in the family business which comprised a grocery shop and pub. He said that people often forget that the standard of living for many people was very challenging and said that there were large families who survived without access to services we all take for granted today like running water, electricity and heating. The issues of poverty and particularly healthcare troubled Tom and this motivated his political career for many years. To the amusement of the crowd gathered, Tom recalled the many characters of wit and wisdom that he encountered during his career.
Tom was presented with 'Tapestry of Light', a beautiful book by local photographer Tina Claffey which captures the beauty of Irish nature and the local Offaly peatlands.

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