DONEGAL County Council has used the first meeting held since the death of Sean McEniff to pay tributes to the Bundoran businessman.
Mr McEniff passed away last month, seven months after falling ill while on holiday in Gran Canaria.
The 81-year-old served on Donegal County Council from 1967 until 1979 and again from 1985 up until his death.
At a meeting in Lifford on Tuesday, members paid their own individual salutes to their late colleague.
Fine Gael’s Martin Harley said he wanted to offer his sympathies to the McEniff family and said the death was a “huge loss to Fianna Fáil”.
Independent councillor Tom Conaghan described the late businessman as a “character” while Sinn Féin’s Gerry McMonagle said that spending over 50 years in public life was a “great achievement”.
“He was dedicated to Bundoran and to Donegal and on behalf of Sinn Féin, I would like to offer our deepest sympathies. His death is a great loss for his family and a great loss for Donegal and his Fianna Fail colleagues,” Cllr McMonagle said.
Fellow party member, Fianna Fáil councillor Ciaran Brogan, told the chamber that it was unlikely politics would ever see another Sean McEniff.
“Every time you think on Sean you think of his smile because that is the kind of person he was, he was always very kind, very warm and very good company,” Cllr Brogan said.
“He was hugely successful in business over the years and I said it on many occasions that I often wondered how he had so much time to be an elected member because he was a very busy man, not just in Donegal but in Dublin and other parts of the country as well.
“But he loved Donegal County Council, he was very loyal to Donegal County Council and he treated it the same way he treated as he treated his own business.”
Cllr Brogan spoke of how Sean McEniff had always put the people of the county first and how he had enjoyed working as a public servant over more than five decades.
Sean McEniff had, he said, always gone about his work as an elected representative with “huge integrity, huge pride and huge honour”.
“I don’t think we will ever see the likes of Sean McEniff again,” Cllr Brogan said.
“Sean McEniff actually put his hand in his own pocket on many, many occasions to start off projects like Waterworld in Bundoran and the Waterbus. There are many different projects in South Donegal that would not have happened but for him.
“Having sat here beside him on many occasions, I can always say he was very, very supportive of the organisation that is Donegal County Council and he was always very proud of it.
“I had the honour of being with him in Boston a few years ago and he always took a great pride in his county and its people and I honestly don’t think we will ever see the likes of Sean McEniff again.”