MAYOR Daniel Butler has led tributes to the late Limerick City Fianna Fáil councillor Jerry O’Dea who died suddenly overnight at the age of 55.
As a result of a voting pact between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the popular public representative was due to become the Mayor of the City and County of Limerick at the local authority’s annual meeting next Thursday.
“I was shocked and saddened to hear this morning of the death of our council colleague Jerry O’Dea. It is very difficult to get your head around such tragic news”, Mayor Butler said.
“Our thoughts are with Jerry’s family and friends and his Fianna Fáil party colleagues at this terrible time. We are all in total shock.”
“Since being elected, Jerry prioritised working with communities right across Limerick to help them develop, as he believed that a stronger and better Limerick was built from the ground up. Sporting and local groups were central to this. They will all miss his important advice and guidance.”
“On behalf of the people of Limerick, I would like to that Jerry for all his service as a public representative, his constituents will feel his loss immensely and offer our sincerest condolences to his father, children and wider family circle and friends following his death.”
As a mark of respect a special meeting of Limerick City and County Council will take place next week, while the Irish flag will be flown at half-mast at corporate buildings in Merchant’s Quay and Dooradoyle.
A publican by trade, Cllr O’Dea was elected to Limerick City and County Council on his very first time running as a candidate in 2014 and subsequently re-elected in 2019 in the Limerick City East constituency.
During his political career, he was Mayor of the Limerick Metropolitan District in 2015-2016, chairperson of the Limerick Milk Market and member of numerous committees.
He was also a member of the Vintners Federation of Ireland and was chair of the Limerick Vintners.
Cllr O’Dea is predeceased by his mother Margaret and survived by his father John Joe, children Catherine and JD and their mother Sinead, his brother Andrew, sisters Siobhan and Eileen, his wider family and many friends.