Former Sen. Paul Coghlan dies at 79

 June 9, 2023

Former Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan of Irelan died at the age of 79.

Coghlan served for five terms from 1997 until his retirement in 2020.

His life

"A graduate of University College Cork, Mr Coghlan was small in stature but had an ebullient personality. He built up a wide social network throughout his long career, forging strong connections and friendships at all levels in business, politics, the legal profession and the judiciary in Ireland and in Britain. However, he was also grounded in his own town of Killarney, and in Co Kerry," the Irish Times reported.

"A founding director of Radio Kerry, he also served as President of Killarney Chamber of Commerce and was a driving force behind the society that commemorated Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, the Kerry priest who used the Vatican to help families escape from the Nazis," it added.

His legacy

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar expressed his condolences on the death of the former senator.

“Paul was a very proud Kerryman, and over the course of his professional life was a member of Killarney Urban District Council, to which he was first elected in 1985, Kerry County Council, to which he was elected in 1991, Kerry VEC and Dingle Harbour Commissioners. He was also a former chairman of Muckross House," he said in a statement.

“In his political life, Paul Coghlan was first elected to Seanad Éireann in 1997 on the Industrial and Commercial Panel, where he served until 2020. He also served on the Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and the Joint Oireachtas Committees on EU Affairs and Finance," he added.

"Eternal rest to Paul Coghlan and deepest sympathy to his family. He was great company, always warm and clubbable, impossible to dislike," fellow Sen. Ronan Mullen tweeted.

"His ‘great escape’ in the 2016 Seanad election added to his legend in Leinster House," he continued.

The leader's death marks the end of a longtime run of political leadership among the Irish people.

He is mourned by many, leaving behind many who will miss him in the nation he loved and served.


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