Michael Sweeney, Area Engineer, Claremorris received glowing tributes from members of Claremorris Municipal District at the monthly meeting held in Ireland West Airport, Knock last week.
Mr Sweeney is due to retire in the coming weeks, after spending 41 years as a member of the staff of Mayo County Council.
An outstanding sportsman, Mr Sweeney represented Mayo GAA at all grades and was a selector when Mayo won the All-Ireland Minor title in 1978. He also played Sigerson Cup with NUIG.
Cllr Tom Connolly, Cathaoirleach of Claremorris Municipal District, thanked Mr Sweeney for his loyal service. He said he was a huge loss to the housing section, and contributed expertly for over forty years.
Cllr John Cribbin, in a fine tribute full of anecdotes, said Mr Sweeney had given the best years of his life to Mayo County Council. “I knew him very well after working for the first time outside Castlebar. He played on the edge as a fine footballer. He will be remembered as someone who gave everyone a fair crack of the whip. A number of the Residents Association wishes to convey their good wishes to Mr Sweeney,” he added.
Cllr John Caulfield said Mr Sweeney was always very helpful when he was approached to do anything. He said Mr Sweeney possessed huge knowledge and outstanding ability. Cllr Damien Ryan referred to Mr Sweeney as very professional in all his dealings with him. “He will be a huge loss and it will be difficult to replace him,” he said.
Cllr Gerry Murray said he got to know Mr Sweeney when he was transferred to Claremorris. He said he was always consistent, and there was no U-turn's with him. “I had the pleasure of accompanying him to Boston recently on Council business. He proved to be a great ambassador for the County,” he stated.
Cllr Richard Finn said he would be badly missed in Claremorris. “He won’t be adequately replaced. I always had great banter with him. He was very professional and had a grass roots approach. He had an ability to talk to anyone from the top to the bottom,” he added. Cllr Patsy O’Brien referred to Mr Sweeney as a decent man who was very fair-minded. He said Mr Sweeney was an excellent ambassador for the County.
Mr Pádraic Flanagan, Head of Claremorris Municipal District said Mr Sweeney had ability to always know what was happening. “He will be solely missed. I wish your health and happiness after over forty- year’s distinguished service,” he stated. A special function will be held in Mr Sweeney’s honour in the Gateway Hotel, Swinford, on Friday October 28.