Tributes have been paid to Cormac Ó Braonáin, the 19 year-old recently elected leader of Labour Youth, who tragically died following a collision with a Luas tram on Sunday morning.
Michael D Higgins was amongst those who spoke of Cormac’s drive to see equality for everyone in Ireland.
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.”
Labour Party Leader, Brendan Howlin TD, expressed his deep sadness and grief on hearing of Cormac’s tragic and untimely death.
In a statement, Howlin said: “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. Cormac had achieved so much, and had brought so much new energy to Labour Youth.
“Our grief and sadness are sharpened all the more by the wonderful memories we have of Cormac.”
“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.
Ó Braonáin also supported the LGBT+ branch of the party, and Labour LGBT said they would “miss seeing Cormac at parades and rallies so much. It was an honour to have spent time with him.”
Cormac had acted as chairperson of the UCD Labour branch over the past two years, and the UCD LGBTQ+ society shared that they are “sad to hear of the passing of Cormac Ó Braonáin […] a valued member of the UCD Community.
“An amazing activist, who marched in support of LGBTQ+ Rights with Labour LGBT. He has left a lasting impact within UCD & beyond. Sosa i síocháin.”
Labour LGBT Executive Karl Hayden said that Cormac had “a heart filled with justice and equality for everyone.”
Speaking on Twitter, Hayden said: “I heard with deep sadness and shock of the death of Cormac. An incredible young man with enormous personality, potential and a heart filled with justice and equality for everyone.
“He will be deeply missed by so many. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Green Party Dublin City Councillor Hazel Chu wrote: “I never had the pleasure of meeting Cormac but had heard lots about him as he helped run Dublin Bay South local elections for Labour.
“My thoughts are with his friends and family.”
Yesterday evening, December 15, friends and family of Ó Braonáin gathered at Lios na nÓg school in Ranelagh to light a candle in his memory.
One friend wrote: “An amazing comrade, who always had time to listen and I don’t think I’ve ever met someone with so much passion. He’ll be missed.”
With another adding: “Cormac Ó Braonáin was my best friend and closest comrade.
“He 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.
“Thoughts are with his family. I’m devastated.”
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