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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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'Willie was a true gentleman' - Tipperary councillor dies after being hit by car in Laois

The popular local politician died from his injuries last night.

Updated at 1.11pm

A TIPPERARY COUNTY COUNCILLOR has died after being struck by a car last night

Willie Kennedy was attending a funeral in Portlaoise last night when he was struck by a car at around 8.30pm on the N80 at Dysart in Portlaoise.

The 64-year-old Independent county councillor was seriously injured in the incident.

He was treated at the scene and removed to Portlaoise General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the car, a man in his 50s, was uninjured in the incident.

Confirming the death this afternoon, fellow councillor Micheál Lowry Jr said that he was devastated by the news.

“I don’t even know what to think,” he said.

“We found out last night… We’re trying to get our head around it.”

First and foremost my sympathies go out to his wife Betty, his son Ger and his two daughters Máiréad and Elizabeth.
We’re all devastated by the news.

“A true gentleman”

Kennedy was first elected to Tipperary North County Council in 1999. He was last elected in 2014.

Having lived in Glastrigan in Thurles, the popular councty councillor was much loved by the Thurles rural community.

He was part of the Lowry group of Independents on the council, including Lowry Jr and Michael O’Meara.

Speaking the TheJournal.ie this afternoon, O’Meara said that Kennedy was a “true gentleman”.

“Willie was a true gentleman and a consummate politician – he was a very wise man,” said O’Meara.

He was the go-to man to sort out problems for you. He had a great common sense way about him.

O’Meara said that Kennedy had been Independent TD Michael Lowry’s right-hand man, and that the Tipperary politician would be particularly devastated with the loss.

“When an awful lot of people deserted Lowry, Willie stood by him,” said O’Meara.

Lowry confided in him and for a long time Willie was the only councillor that he had before Micheál and others came on the scene.

A stretch of the N80 between Stradbally and Bloomfield is currently closed to traffic and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators are due to examine the scene this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Portlaoise garda station on 057 8674100 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald

Read: Woman killed, four others injured in crash involving off duty garda>

Read: ‘My Brendan was killed by a drunk driver – it left a desperate void in our lives’>

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