President Higgins leads tributes to Labour Youth Leader O Braonain

by Gary Ibbotson
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Tributes have poured in for Windy Arbour man, Cormac O Braonain who died following a collision with a LUAS in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It is understood O Braonain, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene after he was struck by a tram at Peters Place near Charlemont Bridge on the south side of the city.

O Braonain studied Political Science and International Relations with History at University College Dublin (UCD) and was recently elected as Chairperson of Labour Youth.

President Michael D Higgins honoured “Cormac’s energy, idealism, generosity, creativity and commitment to social justice and his vision of a kinder, more just society were exemplary. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

“Sabina and I express our deepest condolences to his family and friends and to all those who were privileged to know him,” he said.

O Braonain was heavily involved in Presidents Higgins’ campaign bid for re-election back in 2018.

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin said in a statement that Cormac “had taken up the position with energy, enthusiasm and passion,” and had made “a huge impression, working tirelessly to advocate for the politics of our movement.

“Cormac embodied all that was good about our movement and would have been a leading light in the future of our party, as he left no stone unturned in his drive for success,”

“Our grief and sadness are sharpened all the more by the wonderful memories we have of Cormac.

“When someone so young dies it is hard to find the words to express our loss but in his short time with us, he leaves a strong legacy,” he said.

Fellow Labour Youth member Jack Merriman said in an online post that O Braonain was his “best friend and closest comrade” and “was so passionate and hard-working and he was going to change this country. You left us too soon, dear comrade, but we’ll keep the red flag flying for you.”

Newly elected MP for the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Claire Hanna said O Braonain was canvassing up in Belfast canvassing for the party on the lead up to the UK elections and was “a bright, engaged and motivated young person – thinking of his family and close friends after this tragic accident.”

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