Tributes paid to former FG Senator Pat Kennedy

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1-4-14 Cllr Pat Kennedy at the Shannon Bridge Picture: Keith Wiseman

TRIBUTES have been paid to former Fine Gael Senator, Patrick C Kennedy, who died during the week.

Mr Kennedy, (78), a former barrister, was twice elected Mayor of Limerick by his colleagues on Limerick City Council, in 1974 and in 1985, and served for 12 years, from 1981-1993, in the Seanad.

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In 2014, he sought to have Shannon Bridge in Limerick City renamed the John F Kennedy (JFK) Bridge, but his motion, initially carried by the council, was revisited and shot down by the local authority.

Mr Kennedy previously said he believed he was related to the former US President who was assassinated in Texas in 1963, and had met with members of his family in the US.

He unsuccessfully fought for a Dail seat with Fine Gael in 1969, 1973, 1977, and 1982.

He was first elected to Limerick Corporation in 1991.

After leaving Fine Gael in 2000 he was successfully elected to the City Council that year and in 2009 before he rejoined Fine Gael.

Mr Kennedy’s nephew Brian McEnery tweeted last night: I am sad to say my uncle and former Senator and Mayor of Limerick – Pat Kennedy died this evening. May he Rest In Peace.”

Some well-known politicians including Fine Gael Minster of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, wrote she was “sorry to hear” the news.

Clare County Councillor Mary Howard described Mr Kennedy as “a gentleman” with a “gentle soul”.

Mr Kennedy’s Fine Gael former party colleagues in Limerick, Senator Maria Byrnes and outgoing Metropolitan Mayor, Cllr Daniel Butler, offered their “sincerest condolences” and prayers for the Kennedy family.

In 2014, it was revealed he was paid the highest gratuity payment in the country, after retiring from local politics after almost 50 years, and he received a settlement of €64,204, in recognition of his long service.

In 2010 Mr Kennedy repaid Limerick City Council almost €1,700 he had claimed in travel expenses while his car was off the road, although he informed the Council that he had used a replacement hire vehicle charged by a private rental firm.

Last year he failed in a bid to rejoin Fine Gael.

A former teacher at Christian Brothers School (CBS) Limerick, he published a book in 2015, which documented the life of Hugh Kennedy, the first attorney general of the Irish Free State in 1922, entitled The Great But Neglected Chief Justice