Tributes flood in for leader of Labour Youth following tragic death

by Gazette Reporter

By Rachel D’Arcy and Gary Ibbotson

Tributes have been paid to a teenager from Windy Arbour, who lost his life in a tragic incident involving a Luas last weekend.

Cormac O’Braonáin was cycling when he was involved in a collision with a Luas at Peter’s Place near Charlemont Bridge in the early hours of Sunday morning, December 15.

President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to O Braonáin, who was recently elected as chairperson of the youth wing of the Labour party, and who had campaigned as part of President Higgins’ presidential campaign.

In a statement, President Higgins said: “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.”

O’Braonáin was also fondly remembered by members of The Scouts, of which he was a dedicated leader. He also studied Political Science and International Relations with History at University College Dublin (UCD).

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’Braonáin 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.”

Dozens of others also fondly remembered the 19-year-old on social media, with his name made a trending topic on Twitter in Ireland all day Sunday.

Gardai in Pearse Street are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the collision or may be able to assist them with the investigation to contact them at Pearse Street Garda Station on 01 666 9000, the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

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