Donegal councillor Ian McGarvey celebrating his 91st birthday

Independent Donegal councillor Ian McGarvey is celebrating his 91st birthday today.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:26 am

Tributes were paid to Councillor McGarvey in the Oireachtas.

Senators marvelled at the Ramelton man's incredible stamina.

Donegal-born senator Robbie Gallagher said: "When talking about hard work and sticking to the pace for many years, I wish Councillor Ian McGarvey from Ramelton and in County Donegal a very happy birthday this week.

Councillor Ian McGarvey.
Councillor Ian McGarvey.

"He reaches the young age of 91 and continues to serve as an active member of Donegal County Council. He was first elected to the council at the age of 73 and became mayor and cathaoirleach of Donegal at the age of 82 and he has run in four general elections.

"I am delighted that he is going as hearty and strong as ever. I congratulate him for all his hard work and dedication to the good people of his electoral area of Letterkenny and Milford and I wish him and his good wife, Marjorie, continued good health."

Senator Victor Boylan said: "I also join in congratulating Independent Councillor Ian McGarvey a very happy 91st birthday. What a wonderful man. If we learn anything about politics, and we all talk about bringing new people into politics, but let us also help to support the retention of those already there. Ageism is well alive in politics."

An Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, Mark Daly said: "I join my colleague, Senator Gallagher, and those who wished a happy birthday to Councillor Ian McGarvey as our oldest public representative in Ireland at 91 years of age. He has been married to Marjorie for 67 years.

"She has been a stalwart of his election campaigns. When someone gets elected at 73, it puts it in perspective for us who would be thinking we should be retiring at 73. When someone becomes chair of the council at 82, they are putting in a long haul.

"I wish him a happy birthday as probably the oldest representative at local level since the foundation of the State. He is still hale and hearty and doing all the work. He will, no doubt, be at meetings all day today."

And the Fine Gael leader in the Seanad Regina Doherty remarked: "I was looking at the Cathaoirleach with disbelief. It is incredible to think Councillor McGarvey has had such a successful career in what we would consider the autumn of his life. He is obviously still raring to go and I will send a letter to him on all our behalf today wishing him a happy birthday and continued success."