Donal Moynihan: Taoiseach leads tributes to former Cork North-West TD

TD who served for 22 years in Dáil Éireann died on Saturday aged 81

Donal Moynihan

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has led tributes to former Cork North-West TD Donal Moynihan, whom he described as “a very good friend”. Mr Moynihan died on Saturday at the age of 81 after battling illness for some time.

Mr Martin recalled that the late Mr Moynihan, the father of current Cork North-West Fianna Fáil TD Aindrias Moynihan, hailed from Gort na Scairte in Cúil Aodha, in the heart of the Muscraí Gaeltacht and was a native Irish speaker who was always proud of his roots.

The Taoiseach recalled how he had served with him in the Dáil for a period of Mr Moynihan’s 22 years in Leinster House. The late TD was first elected in November 1982, serving for seven years before losing his seat. He regained it in 1992 and served until his retirement in 2007.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of my very good friend Donal Moynihan. Donal was a passionate and deeply committed public representative. His service to, and love of, his community was deeply impressive and unmatched,” said Mr Martin.


“Donal was a proud Gort na Scairte man. He was rooted in his community, the rich Cork Gaeltacht and its history, heritage and language shaped him. Irish was his first language, a language he loved and which he spoke with great richness and pride.

“He loved his native Gaeltacht community and worked tirelessly throughout his public life to improve the lives of those in this community and wider constituency. He was passionate about community development and had an intimate knowledge of, and appreciation for, agriculture and its critical role in the lives of his community and its people.”

Mr Martin recalled how the late Mr Moynihan’s father, Jamie, had been a central figure in the War of Independence in Ballyvourney and surrounding areas and how he took the republican side during the Civil War before entering politics in 1928 when he was elected to Cork County Council.

He noted how Donal had entered public life in 1970 when he was co-opted on to the council to replace his father Jamie. The link to local government was continued first by his son, Aindrias, when he was elected to the council and later by his daughter, Gobnait.

“It was into this tradition that Donal was born and from his early days as a councillor, and later as a TD, he displayed a true republican ethos. Donal was authentic and had a great sense of place and pride in where he was from,” said Mr Martin.

“Throughout his long and distinguished public career, he displayed an unstinting commitment and loyalty to his constituents and worked tirelessly on their behalf and upon his retirement he was proud to see this commitment to public service carried on by his son, Aindrias and daughter, Gobnait.”

“Is mór an chailliúint dá theaghlach, dá ghaolta, do phobal Bhaile Mhic Íre, Baile Bhúirne agus Cúil Aodha i nGaeltacht Mhúscraí, agus do pháirtí Fianna Fáil é bás Dhónaill Uí Mhuimhneacháin. Is mór an chúis bhróin don pháirtí é a bhás,” concluded Mr Martin in tribute.

The late Donal Moynihan’s former constituency colleague, Michael Moynihan TD from Kiskeam in the northern end of the Cork North-West constituency, also expressed his sadness upon learning of his death.

“I served with Donal in Dáil Éireann for 10 years. He was a man of huge integrity and compassion for his area and the people he represented. May he rest in God’s care,” Mr Moynihan, who is not related to the late TD, told the Corkman newspaper.

A father of nine, the late Mr Moynihan is predeceased by his daughter, Treasa, and is survived by his wife, Catherine and by his sons, Seamus, Aindrias, Padraig and Donal and by his daughters, Mairead, Nóra, Máire and Gobnait.

Mr Moynihan’s remains will be received into Cúil Aodha Church at 5pm on Sunday evening where he will lie in repose until prayers at 8pm. A requiem mass will take place on Monday at noon. He will be buried in St Gobnait’s Cemetery, Ballyvourney.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times