Former Limerick Co Council Cathaoirleach dies of motor neurone disease

Last Thursday 60 people took the ice bucket challenge at the former councillor’s home

A former Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council Mary Harty has died. Cllr Harty who was in her fifties had been suffering with motor neuron disease. Photograph: Facebook/Mary Harty

A former Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council Mary Harty has died. Cllr Harty who was in her fifties had been suffering with motor neuron disease. Photograph: Facebook/Mary Harty

 

A former Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council Mary Harty has died.

Cllr Harty, who was in her 50s had been suffering with motor neurone disease.

She was diagnosed with the incurable disease in October 2012 while she was still Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council.

It had left her wheelchair bound and unable to speak. She passed away surrounded by family at her home in Nicker, Pallasgreen in Co Limerick overnight.

A former primary school teacher at Nicker National School, she was first elected as a Fine Gael Councillor in 1999 and retained her seat until she retired in earlier this year due to her illness.

She became only the third woman to be elected as Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council in 2011.

Last week up to 60 people took the ice bucket challenge at Mary’s home to raise money for Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Kevin Sheahan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick City and County Council, said Ms Harty, who was elected three times to council, was a huge loss to her parish of Pallasgreen.

“Sadly, we lost Mary far too young. It is so poignant that she lost her battle against motor neuron disease this week when there’s a huge campaign underway raise awareness of this terrible disease,” he said.

“Mary was such a warm and engaging person, a wonderful politician who bore her illness with great bravery, calmness and dignity.

“Despite her illness, Mary still turned up to all council meetings right to the very end.”

Arrangements for her funeral are being made.