Des O’Malley was a true patriot who put this Republic first above all else, Fine Gael Minister Patrick O’Donovan has said.
Minister O’Donovan, who represents some of the old Limerick East constituency, where O’Malley was elected at 11 successive elections said the passing of the proud Irish democrat was a sad day for Limerick.
“Throughout his political life, Des O’Malley’s integrity was immense. Those who grew up with and studied Limerick politics, quickly realised that he was a powerful opponent to be faced with or a tremendous ally to have at your shoulder,” Minister O’Donovan said.
“When others faltered, Des O’Malley put his career on the line, displayed immense courage and made the ultimate sacrifice to depart Fianna Fáil and potentially, the opportunity to serve in Cabinet again. Thankfully, to the eternal debt and benefit of so many, this proved to be a successful move as Ireland, and indeed Cabinet and Government, benefitted from his prowess and foresight.
“Des O’Malley leaves behind an enormous legacy to those of us who value the true meaning of democracy and we owe him a great deal for his defence of it.
“If his epitaph reads, ‘I stand by the Republic’, it will be immensely fitting. Make no mistake about it – Des O’Malley stood by this Republic at all times.
“Here in Limerick, he will be fondly remembered as a strong, proud local representative for his native place. I wish to express my sympathy to his family on their loss. Codladh Sámh Des.”