FORMER Taoiseach Enda Kenny has paid a warm tribute to one of his most loyal supporters whose death occurred last Friday, April 6,
The funeral of Mr. Kevin O'Malley, Rathbawn Road, and formerly of O'Malley's Shop, McHale Road, Castlebar, took place earlier this week with burial in the New Cemetery on Tuesday following Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul in the Church of the Holy Rosary.
He is survived by his wife Kathleen, daughter Karen, sons Damien, Jarlath, Aidan and Conor, grandchildren, great grandchild, family circle, neighbours and friends, to whom sympathy is tendered.
The high esteem in which he was held was illustrated by the large turnout at the funeral ceremonies.
In his tribute, Deputy Kenny stated: “ I am sorry that Kevin has left us. His spirit joins those of PJ Nally, and Brendan Henaghan, all sadly departed from life recently, and all from the ranks of Fine Gael and the wider Castlebar community.
“Kevin O’Malley loved elections. He loved canvassing ‘The Road’ – never McHale Road. His preparations were meticulous. ‘You will be asked here about a medical card, this man is looking for a job for his son, and this person has a row with the Council’, and so on.
“All 100 plus houses were known intimately by Kevin, most of whom visited his shop, and many of whom had to rely occasionally on his generosity. Kathleen, the love of his life, was an integral part of ‘The Road’ experience.
“Kevin was always there for Fine Gael and for me personally. He was always available for collections, for meetings, or any work assigned to him. He formed an unbeatable team with Maureen Feeney at thousands of doors over 30 years. They never took no for an answer, and any query raised was always followed through. His loyalty was never called into question.
“But it was as a husband and father that he really shone through. His life was shared fully by Kathleen and they were both so proud of their children and grandchildren. They taught those children their values and were an example to all by their own lives. I extend sympathy to them all.
“‘The Road’ has lost quite a number of Castlebar personalities, all decent people, over the past short period. That group has now been joined by a gentleman, who was a friend to all. Kevin O’Malley – King of the Road.
“Bíodh suaimhneas na Síoraí ag a anam uasal.”