Hollymount mourn former county councillor Jim Mannion

The community of Hollymount and the larger south Mayo area were saddened to hear of the death of Jim Mannion on Wednesday.

Mr Mannion, from Frenchgrove, Hollymount, a former member of Mayo County Council, was in his eighties.

Mr Mannion was a member of Fine Gael and served on the local authority from 1985 to 2004 before retiring his seat. He was succeeded by sitting councillor Patsy O’Brien.

Cllr O’Brien has paid tribute to the deceased saying he was known as “Gentleman Jim”.

He told the Mayo Advertiser yesterday (Thursday ) that Mr Mannion was born in Dublin before moving to Rathmoyle, Roscommon, as a small child. He then moved to Frenchgrove at the age of 16 in 1944 to live with his aunt who had lost her husband. Here he ran the family farm and became a stalwart of the Garrymore GAA club where he held many positions within the local club and on divisional and county boards. He also served on the committee of agriculture.

Mr Mannion was instrumental in helping Enda Kenny’s father Henry to get elected to Dáil Éireann in 1954 and was very proud when Enda himself became Taoiseach.

Cllr O’Brien told how Mr Mannion was the first person to win a Fine Gael seat in his parish in 1985, and was very proud to retain it again in 1991 and 1999 before retiring from politics in 2004 at the age of 77.

It was third time lucky for Mr Mannion having narrowly lost out on a seat in the 1967 and 1974 elections.

Tragedy struck the Mannion family in 1975 when Mr Mannion and his wife Kathleen lost their only son Michael in a farm accident.

He decided not to run in the 1979 election.

“Jim was a farmer and had a great love of the land,” said Cllr O’Brien. “He had great cross party support and was always admired,” he continued.

Tributes will be paid to the deceased at Monday’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council which is expected to be adjourned in his honour.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen and immediate family.

Mr Mannion’s remains will repose at Roundford Community Centre on Friday evening from 5pm to 8pm. He will be laid to rest following 11am funeral Mass in Carras Church on Saturday in Roundford Cemetery.


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