The caretaker of Athy Town Council has locked the doors of the chamber for the last time.
58-year-old Noel O’Mara handed in his keys and retired last week.
Speaking to the Leader, he described his employment as “great craic”. Caretaker of the building for more than two decades, he first arrived at the chamber in 1993.
“It was good times and I had good fun. I have great memories of my time at the council.
“I couldn’t put most of them into print, but I never had to remove a councillor from the chamber,” he joked. “I have great memories, especially of people gone passed. Cllrs Frank English, Noel Scully and Paddy Wright. The craic I had with those people was mighty.”
“I recall the late Cllr Paddy Wright. He was a character. He once asked me if I would really come in and remove him from the chamber if he went off on one. I told him if he started, not to put me in that position. The very best of luck to you, he replied. In the end I never had to go into the chamber... In all the years I worked in the council, we never came across anything serious. The worst was a broken window or two.
“The people there are like family to me. They gave me a fantastic send-off and I am very grateful.”
Noel lives in Greenhills, Athy with his wife Liz. He has five grown-up children, Lisa, Ashling, Paula, Fran and Jamie.
A keen biker, Noel is involved in a numerous charity work and fundraising activities, in particular Age Action Ireland. “I’ll be on the bike until the day it throws me off. I love charity work and volunteering, I’ve being doing it all my life and I look forward to doing more now.”