The death has occurred
early this afternoon of Tomás Mac Giolla, former President of the Workers Party, TD for Dublin West (1982-1992) and Lord Mayor
of Dublin (1993/94). He was 86 and is survived by his wife May (née McLoughlin)
and his sister Evelyn and his nephews and nieces.
Mr. MacGiolla passed
away in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin early this afternoon. He had been ill for some time and had been
in hospital for the last week.
Tomás Mac Giolla
was born in to a farming family at Nenagh, Co. Tipperary on January 25th, 1924. He was a nephew of the Irish Parliamentary Party MP, T.P. Gill. He
was educated at St. Flannan’s College, Ennis, Co. Clare and in University College Dublin where he completed a degree
in Commerce. He subsequently worked as an accountant with the ESB from 1947 until
he became a full time public representative for the Workers Party in the late 1970s.
Mr. Mac Giolla joined
Sinn Féin around 1950 and stood unsuccessfully for his first election for Sinn Féin in North
Tipperary in the 1961 general election. He
was elected President of Sinn Féin in 1962 which was the same year in which the late Cathal Goulding became Chief of Staff
of the IRA. Together they played a pivotal role in transforming the republican
movement away from nationalist armed struggle towards socialism and into what would eventually become the Workers’ Party.
He was elected to
Dublin City Council in 1979 and was Workers Party TD for Dublin West from 1982 to 1992.
In 1993 Tomás Mac Giolla became Lord Mayor of Dublin. He remained active in politics after his retirement and was a member
of the Ard Comhairle of the Workers Party until his death.
Paying tribute to Mr.
Mac Giolla this afternoon, the current Workers Party President Michael Finnegan, who is Mr. Mac Giolla’s former director
of elections in Dublin West, said that Tomás Mac Giolla was a greatly underestimated figure in Irish politics who played a
major role in the struggle for civil rights and democracy in Northern Ireland and for people’s rights throughout Ireland
Issued 4th February 2010