NEWPORT area councillors paid to tribute to the late Dan Kennedy of Rearcross and Foilduff, at their February meeting in Nenagh.
The former county councillor died at the age of 92 earlier this month and was the first ever Independent chairman of North Tipperary County Council. He was elected as a councillor in 1950 and served as chairman in 1955 and 1976.
Cllr Mattie Ryan Coole proposed a vote of sympathy to Mr Kennedy’s family, which was seconded by Cllr John “Rocky” McGrath.
Cllr McGrath described Mr Kennedy as a”powerful man” who was a legend in his own area. “You could see at the funeral ceremony that he was among his own, and they were fierce proud of him”.
Mr Kennedy was first elected to Tipperary (North Riding County Council) in 1950 and returned in 1955, when he was elected chairman on the proposal of Cllr John Gleeson, seconded by Cllr. Michael Cronin. He defeated Cllr. Thomas Meagher by 11 votes to 10.
He was returned at the local elections in 1960, 1967 and 1974 and was again elected chairman in 1976 on the proposal of Cllr Tom Shanahan, seconded by Cllr John Fanning. He defeated Cllr Des Hanafin by 11 votes to 9. He lost his seat in 1979.
Cllr Kennedy ran for the Dail on the Clann na Poblachta ticket in 1957, receiving 1,537 first preference votes. John Fanning and Mary Ryan of Fianna Fail and Paddy Tierney of Labour took the three seats.
As a councillor he represented North Tipperary on various committees, including the Consultative Health Committee, the Committee of Agriculture, the Tipperary Mental Health Board, the National Monuments Advisory Committee, the Vocational Education Committee and the board of Clonmel Mental Hospital.
Mr Kennedy died on February 7 in Milbrae Lodge Nursing Home, Newport. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; daughter and sons, Therese, Val and Oliver; daughters-in-law, Anne Marie and Nellie; son-in-law, Neil; grandchildren, Luke, Alex and Harry; sister, Bridget; brother, Michael; sisters-in-law, Breda and Phylis, nephews, nieces and relatives.