Late TD Peter Kelly was proud of his Meath roots
Former Longford Fianna Fail TD, Peter Kelly, who has died, was very proud of his Meath roots.
His mother, Emily, was a member of the Gibney family, Kells. Having served on Longford County and Town Council from 1985, Mr Kelly was first elected to Dáil Eireann in 2002 for the Longford Roscommon constituency, succeeding the late former taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, and was then re-elected in 2007 for the re-formed Longford Westmeath constituency.
Emily Kelly, a native of Bective Street, Kells, died in May 2009, was wife of the late Longford councillor, Joe Kelly.
As a young woman, Emily Gibney went to Longford to work in Kenny’s drapery on Main Street, Longford. At the time, the bus stop was at the front door of a shop and pub then being run by Joe Kelly’s father. It was while waiting for the bus outside Kelly’s that she met her future husband.
Deputy Peter Kelly (front row, extreme left) beside MEP Jim Fitzsimons from Navan, Liam Hyland MEP, and Fianna Fail representatives and members in Longford at a party meeting.
When her father-in-law died, Emily and Joe Kelly moved with their young family to Main Street from Harbour House in Longford. Joe Kelly had been working in the shop since leaving school, and continued to run the business.
His active involvement in community activities led him to be elected as an independent member of the Urban Council, of which he was to become chair. He passed away in 2000.
Peter followed his father into politics, and, joining Fianna Fail, was to become chairman of the urban council, as well as of Longford County Council. Their public house, Kelly's was a well-known landmark next door to Longford Courthouse on the main street, later bought by the Department of Justice as an extension to the courthouse.
Emily Kelly, nee Gibney, from Kells
Mrs Kelly’s late brother, Jack Gibney, who lived in Tullamore, was a versatile Meath hurler and captained Meath minor sides that reached provincial finals in the early 1930s. He was a member of the Meath team that defeated Kilkenny in the Leinster minor hurling final of 1929, and later represented his adopted Offaly.
The Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has expressed his sadness following the death of Peter Kelly.
Deputy Martin said: "Peter truly was a great character and loved being a TD. He was a proud Longford man and a man of great decency, he was a 'people's person'. Peter had a great knowledge of business and a huge sense of community. He was a tenacious worker for the people of his constituency.
"Peter regaled and entertained us all with many witty stories over the years. He never stopped working for the Fianna Fáil party, even in the last few years when he battled with illness. He always had time to give advice and was a great campaigner and networker," he added.
Peter Kelly enjoying a Longford Licensed Vintners Association golf outing.
"Peter will be sadly missed by our party and our sympathies and thoughts go to his wife Maura and their children, Emily, Joseph and Peter. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam."
Peter Kelly died peacefully on Wednesday at St Vincent's Private Hospital, Dublin. He is survived by his wife, Maura (Hester), daughter Emily Doherty (Dublin), sons Peter (London) and Joseph (Melbourne), son-in-law Eoin, daughter-in-law Vivian, grandchildren Patrick, Sophie and Michael, brothers Pat (Canada), Vincent (Cork), John (Longford) and Frank (Cavan), sisters Mary Hester (Dublin) and Claire Bradley (Cork), sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces, cousins, relatives and very good friends.
He is reposing at his home, Lanherne, Battery Rd, Longford (N39C2W6) on Friday from 3pm until 8pm. Removal on Saturday morning to St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford for Funeral Mass at 11am. Burial afterwards in Ballymacormack Cemetery. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to Longford Conference of St Vincent de Paul (Donation box in Cathedral or to any family member). Family time Saturday morning please. Parking available at Connolly Barracks on Friday evening.