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Former Minister Bobby Molloy dies aged 80

Molloy was one of the founding members of the Progressive Democrats in 1986.

Bobby Molloy Moriarty Tribunals Bobby Molloy, arriving at the Moriarty Tribunal in 2006 to give evidence Source: Graham Hughes

BOBBY MOLLOY, THE former Fianna Fáil TD and one of the founders of the Progressive Democrats, has died aged 80.

Molloy served in many different cabinet positions over a 30-year career in Dail Éireann.

He is probably best remembered for the fraught nature of the circumstances in which he left Fianna Fáil, along with fellow renegade Dessie O’Malley, in 1986.

He served with Fianna Fáil for just over 20 years after his first election in 1965 in Galway.

Molloy was a member of the so-called ‘Gang of 22′ who opposed Charles Haughey’s leadership of the party following Haughey’s victory over George Colley in 1979.

He was subsequently dropped as Minister for Defence by Haughey. Ironically, he would serve under Haughey in cabinet once more as Minister for Energy in 1989, but this time as a member of the PDs in coalition with Fianna Fáil.

Other Ministerial posts held by Molloy included Minister for Local Government in the early 70s under Jack Lynch, and Minister for Housing under Bertie Ahern from 1997 until his retirement from politics in 2002.

Current Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin this afternoon expressed his condolences at the news of Molloy’s death, saying he was “very saddened” to hear the news.

“Bobby was a man of great personal warmth, integrity and purpose. Having worked with him in cabinet, I had the opportunity to witness first hand his singular focus on the issue of homelessness,” Martin said.

He brought a distinct focus and energy to the issue, and the interdepartmental approach that he adopted to tackle homelessness was a particularly successful strategy in its time.

The Taoiseach meanwhile described Molloy as “a tireless campaigner for his native Galway”, while President Higgins, who shared Molloy’s constituency as a TD, said that he had learned of his death “with great sadness”.

“Throughout his career, he gave excellent service over several decades and his name is recalled with great affection throughout the constituency (Galway West),” he said.

His life in politics began before mine, and on every platform he served, he delivered his contribution, which was always well informed, with great distinction.

A former mayor of Galway, Bobby Molloy is survived by his wife Phyllis, sons Donnacha and Dara, and daughters Sinéad and Sorcha.

Read: “The bills won’t be coming back…water charges are gone” – Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne

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