Former Derry Town Clerk Colm Geary dies

The late Colm Geary.

The late Colm Geary.

The funeral took place on Monday (September 19) of Colm Geary, a former Town Clerk of Derry City Council, who passed away last week. He was aged 84.

Mr Geary, from Talbot Park, died at Altnagelvin Hospital on Friday last.

The father of five’s Requiem Mass took place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Steelstown, and he was later buried in the City Cemetery.

Mr. Geary, who was a fluent Irish speaker, was Derry’s top civic administrator for 18 years.

He joined the Derry Development Commission in 1973 and became Town Clerk of the city following the reorganisation of local government that same year.

He retired from the post in 1991.

A native of Limerick, Mr. Geary was Town Clerk when the council voted to change its official name from Londonderry to Derry.

Among those to pay tribute to Mr. Geary was Foyle MP Mark Durkan.

Mr. Durkan, a former member of Derry City Council, said Mr. Geary was “a man of ‘grit and grace’ whose combination of professional expertise, cheerful personality and determined civic purpose served Derry well during some of the worst years of the Troubles.”

The former SDLP leader added: “Colm Geary was a fine public servant with a can-do, must-do attitude, alongside a calm persona. He made a profound contribution to civic life even when the city was burdened by civil disorder and communal stress.”

He added: “Colm Geary’s combination of professional expertise, cheerful personality and determined civic purpose served Derry well through his effective engagement not just with government departments but across sectors.”

Mr. Geary is survived by his wife, Fionnuala, and children Róisín, Aedín, Rónan, John and Éamon.