Ireland’s president Michael D Higgins and the leader of the country’s Labour Party, Brendan Howlin, have led tributes to 19-year-old Cormac Ó Braonáin, who died when he was struck by a tram in Dublin in the early hours of this morning.
Ó Braonáin, a student at University College Dublin (UCD) had recently been elected chair of the youth wing of the party, was a member of its national executive, and was predicted to have a successful career in politics ahead of him, reports thejournal.ie.
He was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision, which happened at just after 3am close to the Charlemont stop of Luas, the Irish capital’s tram system.
President Higgins, expressing condolences on behalf of himself and his wife Sabina, said: “Cormac’s energy, idealism, generosity, creativity and commitment to social justice and his vision of a kinder, more just society were exemplary. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
“Sabina and I express our deepest condolences to his family and friends and to all those who were privileged to know him.”
Howlin said: “When someone so young dies it is hard to find the words to express our loss but in his short time with us, he leaves a strong legacy.
“Cormac had achieved so much, and had brought so much new energy to Labour Youth. As Chairperson of the UCD Labour branch over the last two years he had re-invigorated the branch and was passionate in his campaigns and events.
“Cormac embodied all that was good about our movement and would have been a leading light in the future of our party, as he left no stone unturned in his drive for success,” he continued.
“He was not just a democratic socialist but also a committed Gaeilgeoir [Gaelic speaker) and strong proponent of our national language,” Howlin added
“Our grief and sadness are sharpened all the more by the wonderful memories we have of Cormac.”
Tributes came from across the political spectrum, with Green Party councillor Peter Kavanagh saying: “Yesterday I was proud to stand with my comrade Cormac Ó Braonáin at the Rally For Peace. I was supposed to see him for a pint on Thursday. Gutted that he’s gone.”
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