The late Dunboyne councillor, Damien O'Reilly.

County in shock following sudden death of Dunboyne councillor, Damien O'Reilly

The county is in shock this morning following the sudden death of the chairman of the Ratoath Municipal District Council, Damien O'Reilly of Dunboyne.

The Fianna Fáil councillor, who was 40, took ill this morning, and is understood to have been on his way to seek medical attention when his car left the road near Dunboyne.

Cllr Reilly, who was also chairman of the Louth Meath Education and Training Board, worked as a parliamentary assistant to Senator Aidan Davitt of Westmeath in Leinster House.

The cathaoirleach of Meath County Council, Cllr Tommy Reilly, today paid tribute to a man he described as “one of the most hard-working councillors in the country.”

Extending his sympathies to the O'Reilly family, he described his party colleague's death as a “huge loss”.

“He had a very bright future ahead of his, and was destined to go all the way to the top,” stated Cllr Reilly.

First elected in the 2014 local elections, he had been involved in Fianna Fail since he was 16, and was the youngest ever chairman of the Dunboyne Cumann.

A financial services professional with an honours bachelor degree in business studies from the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, he also had a masters in strategy and innovation from NUI Maynooth and had just recently graduated in engineering from the University of Limerick.

He had served as a member of the Meath GAA minor board and was also involved in the running of the annual Darkness Into Light Walk at Fairyhouse.

Community organisations as well as his fellow councillors and public representatives across the county have been paying tribute today, with a meeting of the executive of the county council to take place this evening.

His passing comes less than a week after that of his father-in-law, Thomas O'Malley, of Moynalvey, father of his wife, Lisa.