Mourners at the funeral of a young Fianna Fáil councillor were told he was a true public servant and a poll topper who was always available to others.
Damien O’Reilly, 40, died suddenly last Saturday after falling ill at his home in Kilcock and a packed St Peter and Paul’s chapel in Dunboyne heard Fr Pat O’ Connor reflect on his personality.
He told the congregation, which included the bishop of Meath Thomas Deenihan, Minister for Sport Thomas Byrne and Caroline Burke the Taoiseachs Aide de Camp, ‘Damien was a poll topper because he was always available to others, he was a true public servant and in modern parlance a peoples person.
‘He was on top of it no matter what the issue was and he genuinely loved to see others doing well, but he did well himself.
‘He had a thirst for knowledge and a passion for education that saw him achieve not one but two masters degrees
‘The gifts brought to the altar illustrated all this, there was his mobile phone to show he was always available, in fact if you were ever chatting to him his phone would be constantly pinging with messages.
‘A copy of his latest degree, in engineering, illustrated his interest in education, he was a Dunboyne man through and through as seen by the St Peter’s GFC jersey, I don’t know hs his partner Lisa got him to move to Moynalvey parish, that is a real sign of their deep love,and at heart he was a family man, as shown by the family photo.’
Fr O’Connor went on, ‘ Unexpected death hits all of us with an appalling suddenness we are left disillusioned and helpless, Damien had everything going for him, he was in the prime of life, had a happy home and a bright future now he has not left us simply gone before us’
Councillor O’Reilly is survived by by his fiancée Lisa, daughter Carly, stepson Kyle and mother Phil, extended family and a large number of friends.’