The death has been announced of Clare’s only Sinn Féin councillor, Shannon’s Mike McKee.
The 61-year-old had been battling an illness for the final few months of his life.
A native of Belfast, Mike McKee first arrived in Clare in the 1970s.
He first foray into local politics came in 1985, when he secured a seat on Shannon Town Council for Sinn Féin, serving until 2009.
He later returned to politics in the 2014 local elections, securing Sinn Féin a first seat on the county council since 1974, and despite being too unwell to campaign in this year’s election, was re-elected at his ease.
Mike was named by Sinn Féin as a candidate in the next general election but a month ago, pulled out for health reasons.
He was an active local representative right until the end, most recently appearing at the opening of the Shannon Town Park just ten days ago.
Already, calls are being made on social media for the park to be renamed in his honour.
Mike passed away at University Hospital Limerick this morning, leaving behind his devastated wife Eileen, son David and daughter Jeanette, as well as two grandchildren.
May he rest in peace.
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has expressed her condolences to the McKee family.
Teachta McDonald said:
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mike McKee who passed away earlier today at University Hospital Limerick following a short illness.
“I send, in particular, my deepest sympathy to Mike’s wife Eileen, his son David and his daughter Janette, as well as two grandchildren.
“Mike was a true Irish Republican and a great champion of the people of Shannon, which was reflected in his continued election to Shannon Town Council and Clare County Council over many years.
“He represented the people with great pride for over three decades and anyone who ever met Mike knew of his sincerity and decency.
“I know that this is a very sad time for party members in Clare and the wider Mid-West region and I extend to them my solidarity at this very sad time.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”
Mike’s funeral arrangements are as follows
Reposing at his residence at 12 Inis Fail on Saturday November 30th from 5-8pm.
House private on Sunday December 1st.
Remains arriving to SS John and Paul Church on Monday December 2nd for 1.30pm.
Funeral Mass with cremation to follow at 2pm.