FORMER COUNTY COUNCILLOR, Martin Lafferty has been remembered as an individual who put humanity, empathy and what he believed in at the centre of his life.

Lisdoonvarna native, Martin died peacefully surrounded by his loving family at University Hospital Galway on Friday.

Education was always important in the Lafferty household, his two sister Maura Harold (RIP) and Betty Keane were both sent to boarding school in Kinvara they went on to become a primary school teacher and nurse respectively while he attended CBS Ennistymon at a time when it cost £6-10 per annum. He spent six years in Ennistymon where his favourite subjects were Irish and English.

Following on from this, he attended University College Galway studying Arts and Commerce where he took lodgings with an uncle living in the city. He graduated in 1957 with a B.Com.in Irish.

He taught in Gort and Limerick City before securing a job as a teacher in Ennistymon Vocational School in 1961.

Whilst in Ennistymon, he and Miltown Malbay native Christy Curtin became interested in and duly got elected to the VEC of Clare County Council as they were deemed eligible in 1974 as Local Government Employees. He completed a H.Dip from 1968 to 1969 before he was elected as a county councillor in 1974 as a Labour Party candidate.

In 1992, he parted ways with The Labour Party and retained his seat on the Council up until his retirement from politics in 2009. He canvassed for current Clare TD Michael McNamara (IND) when he was elected as a Labour TD in 2011.

Martin was heavily responsible for the development of a wastewater treatment plant in Lisdoonvarna which was partly financed by the European Unino for an approximate £15m.
During a 2015 interview, Martin concluded that politics is “all about perception”. He described how certain politicians through the media get coverage and the public perceive the same politicians as being the ones to deliver.

As a mark of respect to the Lisdoonvarna native, Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council was adjourned for fifteen minutes. Cllr PJ Kelly (FF) was also first elected in 1974, “it was a different time and an extremely political era”. He said, “As we passed through various years a huge transition took place and we had the famous 2004 agreement which stands today, one of the people to make it happen none other than Martin”. Kelly continued, “He had a great knowledge of local Government law, he was committed to democracy and participation in community work”.

According to Cllr Pat McMahon (FF), Martin was “unique”. He said, “the amazing thing with Martin was he always fighting for what he believed in but he could never be rattled”. Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) said he couldn’t have had better teachers than Lafferty and Curtin when he was starting out on the Council, “they were highly skilled and highly intelligent, they dragged me along as best they could. He was a family man at the centre of it all”.

When he was elected in 2019, Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) became Lisdoonvarna’s first representative on the Council since Martin’s retirement. He recalled, “Martin had a way with words, he would say if you want to say yes say yes and if you want to say no say no”. Garrihy praised the guard of honour provided by councillors at Monday’s funeral. “He reckoned no matter what we do that humanity and empathy be taken into consideration”.

Chairperson of Labour’s branch in Clare, Denis Vaughan told The Clare Echo that an emergency meeting was held by their North Clare Executive on Monday to pass a vote of condolence to their former member. He said, “Martin was a folk hero in North Clare, who tirelessly worked for the common man. No problem was too big for this man”.

Martin was predeceased by his baby son Justin, daughter Mary and sister Maura. He is deeply mourned by his devoted and loving wife Helene, daughters Fiona, Eimear and Elaine, sister Betty, sons-in-law Michael, Declan and Marty, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins, extended family and a wide circle of neighbours and friends.

Related News

water station ennistymon 5
350 free water fountains to be installed nationwide
fiona levie holly cairns 1
Fiona 'bitten by political bug' but 'really disappointed' no woman elected in East Clare
tour de burren 1
Barefield the starting point for Tour de Burren
le24 election shane talty 2
Talty triumphant following 'ferocious election campaign'
Latest News
fiona levie holly cairns 1
Fiona 'bitten by political bug' but 'really disappointed' no woman elected in East Clare
tour de burren 1
Barefield the starting point for Tour de Burren
clare v limerick minor 18-04-24 patrick finnernan 1
Minors must overcome Cats to advance to All-Ireland final
le24 election shane talty 2
Talty triumphant following 'ferocious election campaign'
clare v donegal 15-06-24 2 manus doherty
Drubbing from Donegal ends Clare's involvement in football championship
Premium
court 1
Woman with black eye in court tells judge assailant "needs help"
clare v tyrone 02-06-24 stephen ryan 5
Stephen Ryan to miss out on Clare's crunch tie with Donegal
le24 pat burke 1
Four in a row aided by quality canvass of Burke tea-party
le24 election count timmy dooley liam grant 1
Green Grant says politics & campaigning was 'so mentally tough'
le24 tony o'brien 1
'Dialogue & honey' key to a progressive Council - O'Brien

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top