Donegal County Council’s monthly meeting was adjourned today as a mark of respect to the late Dessie Larkin who sat on the council from 1999 to 2014.
The former Fianna Fáil county councillor and Letterkenny town councillor passed away suddenly last Monday at his Letterkenny home aged 48. His funeral took place at St Eunan’s cathedral on Friday.
Mr Larkin had recently taken up a position in the environment section of Donegal County Council.
He was co-opted to Letterkenny Urban District Council in 1998 after the sudden death of his father James. He was reelected the following year when he also won a seat on the county council.
He was chair of the county council from 2005 to 2006 and also served two terms as mayor of Letterkenny.
Today’s council meeting was adjourned until 2pm after tributes were paid to Mr Larkin and a minute’s silence was held.
Cathaoirleach of the council Cllr Seamus Ó Domhnaill (FF) read out a long list of the organisations that Mr Larkin sat on during his time on both councils.
Mr Larkin had a wide knowledge base and left a great legacy behind him, he said.
“He was a source of great knowledge to all members of all political persuasions within this council,” he said.
Cllr Ciaran Brogan, leader of the Fianna Fáil grouping, said it had been “a dark and difficult week for Letterkenny” due to Cllr Larkin’s sudden passing and a number of other deaths.
He said the death has had an impact on the whole town of Letterkenny.
Cllr Brogan said Mr Larkin was very happy and content in the role he had taken up with Donegal County Council in the last 12 months.
“I have no doubt that Dessie Larkin would have excelled at the other end of the council as an official,” he said.
“We all know that Dessie Larkin will undoubtedly be viewed as someone who made a difference. He was very passionate about the many things that he was involved in.”
Cllr Gerry McMonagle (SF) extended deepest sympathy to the Larkin family.
He said the input he had into Letterkenny town was unquestionable.
“He worked to develop the town to what it is today,” he said.
He said Mr Larkin had “a passion for politics and a passion for people”.
“No matter what subject you brought up he had an angle on it. He was very well read,” he said.
Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh (FG) said everyone was deeply shocked at his passing.
“No one could believe it, no one could take it in. It was just so unexpected,” he said.
“He was always trying to be innovative and bring new things and he always worked tremendously hard,” he added.