Former Fianna Fáil TD, Senator, and MEP for Connacht/Ulster Mark Killilea passed away yesterday.
The popular Tuam native has died at aged 79.
His 30 year career in public service began in the Seanad in 1969 where he won a seat on the labour panel.
In 1977 he won a seat in Dáil in Galway East on his second try, standing for Fianna Fáil.
He was one of group of five TDs that lobbied hard for Charles Haughey to take the party leadership in 1979.
For his loyalty, the new Taoiseach rewarded Killilea with the post of Minister of State at the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.
He held this position until the 1981 general election which Fianna Fáil lost.
Following on from that he returned to the Seanad in 1982 where he stayed until being appointed to European Parliament in 1987.
Mr Killilea was replacing the retiring Ray MacSherry in his seat for the Connacht/Ulster constituency.
He held onto that European seat in the 1989 and 1994 elections before retiring in 1999.
Born in 1939, Mr Killilea followed his father into a career in politics.
Mark Killilea senior was a founding member of Fianna Fáil and served the Galway North constituency from 1927 to 1961.
Tributes to Mr Killilea have been paid by former colleagues like Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher who served with him in the Dáil and Europe.
He described Mark as an “institution” in European politics who was well liked and respected by his peers.
He is survived by his wife of 20 years Anne.