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Michael Bell (right) celebrates with Gerald Nash after the latter regained Bell's old Labour seat in Louth at this year's general election. Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Tributes paid to late former Labour TD Michael Bell

The five-term former deputy for Louth, councillor and mayor dies in Dublin at the age of 74.

TÁNAISTE AND LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore has led tributes to the former TD Michael Bell, who died in Dublin today at the age of 74.

Bell, a former member of Drogheda Corporation and of Louth County Council, was a Labour TD for Louth for 20 years between 1982 and 2002 – being elected five times, twice topping the poll, before finally being defeated in 2007.

“I first came across Michael when as a young official in the Transport Union, he took me under his wing,” Gilmore said in a statement.

“His advice and guidance, coming from somebody who had some years of experience under his belt, were invaluable to me. But Michael Bell was not just a mentor. He was also a colleague and a friend.

“He served with distinction as a Labour Party TD for two decades and was regarded with great affection by the people of Louth, and the people of Drogheda in particular, right up to his death.

Bell’s traditionally “safe seat” for Labour was regained at the February general election by his longtime party colleague Gerald ‘Ged’ Nash.

This evening Nash described Bell as a man of “enormous integrity [...with] an innate sense of fairness and a deep commitment to the vulnerable in society.”

Bell is survived by a son and three daughters – one of whom was co-opted to Nash’s seat on Drogheda Borough Council in February. He is predeceased by his wife Betty and a son.

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