The late Fintan Cooney was described as “a wonderful servant” and a man of “great integrity and courage” by his colleagues, following his sad passing on Saturday.
The former Fine Gael councillor and vet was laid to rest in Ballyglass Cemetery on Monday following a funeral Mass in the Cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar. He passed away peacefully in his home on Saturday, March 14.
Mr Cooney retired from politics last summer, after 10 years as a councillor. He was cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council for a year in 2009-2010. His nephew Mark Cooney sat alongside him on the council for a number of years, and his brother Paddy Cooney was a former government minister and MEP.
Deputy Gabrielle McFadden, who was a colleague of Mr Cooney on the council, said Westmeath and Fine Gael “have lost a wonderful servant”.
“I was very saddened to hear of the death of my friend and colleague Fintan Cooney. I had the privilege of sitting beside Fintan for two years on Westmeath County Council where he served the people with diligence and commitment.
“Fintan had a beautiful speaking voice and he used this gift wisely. He only ever spoke when there was something pertinent to say, something meaningful to contribute. He called a spade a spade and he had an innate ability to get to the core of an issue. When Fintan spoke, everybody listened.
“Fintan will be greatly missed by his family and friends, as well as the people of Westmeath for whom he worked so hard all of his life.”
Deputy James Bannon described Mr Cooney as “a political figure of great integrity and courage”, who “contributed so much to the community in Westmeath and further afield”.
Mr Cooney is survived by his wife Mary; children Fintan, Michael, Elizabeth, Alice, and Patrick; sisters Mary Agnes and Gemma; brothers John, Pat, and Garrett; as well as 17 grandchildren.