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A Clare giant in the Irish construction industry – the late Sean Hegarty remembered

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Former Clare Person of the Year and a leading figure in the Irish construction industry, Sean Hegarty has died.

Prior to Christmas, the death was announced of Lahinch native, Sean Hegarty. In the weeks since, his contribution to the county has been admired and praised. In 2002, he was named as Clare Person of the Year.

Alongside Christy Killeen, the late Myles Clancy and legendary Clare hurler the late Jimmy Smyth of Ruan, Sean was a founding member of the Friends and Supporters of Clare GAA which was based in the capital where he had resided for over five decades. He stayed at his holiday home in Liscannor regularly on his summer holidays.

In excess of €500,000 has been raised by the group since its formation in 1990 which has been distributed to schools, clubs and county teams at various levels in Clare. Hegarty maintained an integral role in the group’s ongoing fundraising efforts.

He had a long involvement with the Clare Association in Dublin and was a former Chairman of the organisation. His daughter Noirín is a former Editor of The Sunday Tribune and currently works for Lonely Planet while his daughter Orla is the Professor of Architectural Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin.

A past pupil of Ennistymon CBS, Sean graduated with a degree in civil engineering from NUIG before going to work for building firms P.J. Walls and McInerney. In 1971, he and his wife Carmel who hailed from Miltown Malbay, established Sean Hegarty Earthworks Ltd.

Responding to the massive growth in urban renewal, regeneration and conservation, Sean founded Hegarty Demolition Ltd in 1990. When development of Croke Park commenced in 1993, Hegarty Demolition Ltd. was the contractor appointed for the demolition of the Cusack Stand. Incidentally, a number of seats salvaged from the stand were donated by Sean to the Michael Cusack Centre in Carron.

The company was also chosen for several large-scale civil engineering projects including the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford. His proposed move of Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon was rejected by Clare County Council.

Hegarty held an active role in the construction industry, he was the founding Chairman of the Irish Association of Demolition Contractors and played a significant role in the implementation of waste management legislation for the industry. From 1998 until 2003, he served as Chairman of the Irish Association of Demolition Contractors and following this spent five years as Chairman of the Construction and Demolition Waste Council.

Sean is survived by his wife Carmel, daughters Noirín, Orla and Bronagh, brothers, son in laws, grand-children, nieces, nephews and work colleagues.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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