“A tireless republican leader, an inspirational friend” – Mary Lou McDonald TD expresses great sadness on the passing of Joe Reilly

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has this morning expressed her great sadness at the passing of Joe Reilly.

Teachta McDonald said;

“We are heartbroken at the loss of Joe Reilly. Joe was a tireless republican leader and an inspirational friend to so many. He was dearly loved and he will be greatly missed.

“Joe was deeply respected by all who knew him. His honour, honesty and integrity both as a republican activist and a public representative shone brightly for all to see.

“Joe loved Meath and Navan. He was dedicated to his community and to making Ireland a better place for everybody. That is the goal for which he lived. He made a huge contribution to Ireland.

“Possessed with a sharp political mind and a ferocious work ethic, Joe Reilly was a member of the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle and played a pivotal role in building the party. No role was too big or too small. He was a key member of the Sinn Féin negotiation team which brokered the Good Friday Agreement.

“Gaeilgeoir bródúil ba ea Joe agus d’obair sé go crua ar son na Gaeilge.

“He was an eternal optimist with an aversion to negativity and never accepted that something couldn’t be done.

“Joe brought that same determination, positivity and courage to his battle against cancer. He did not allow his sickness to block out the light from his life. He refused to give up and refused to allow others to feel sorry for him.

“We celebrate his life, mourn his loss, and extend our sincere condolences to his family at this very sad time.

“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”