Labour Party leader Alan Kelly with Toddy O'Sullivan.

President leads tributes to Toddy

Former TD and lord mayor of Cork Toddy O’Sullivan died at home yesterday at the age of 87.

An online book of condolences has been opened today by Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher for former Mr O’Sullivan. All are welcome to offer their condolences on

“Toddy O’Sullivan was a stalwart of the Labour Party in Cork and widely respected across all political parties. Toddy your city thanks you and remembers“, Lord Mayor Kelleher said.

There have been fulsome tributes to the former Labour Party junior minister lead by President Michael D. Higgins.

He said: “Toddy O’Sullivan will be remembered as one of the most warm-hearted members of the Oireachtas. Having had the privilege of being a colleague of his for decades, I can attest to that.

“He loved Cork in all its dimensions, be it history, politics, sport or personality. However, his friends will remember him, as will I, for his warm humour, and a volatility fuelled from his sense of decency and needed reform.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was “deeply saddened” by the news.

“As a minister of state, TD, lord mayor and city councillor, he served his city and his country with passion, integrity, dignity, and total commitment throughout his life. Toddy was a fierce advocate for working people and the poor. We will miss him,” he said.

“From my early days serving on Cork City Council in 1985, Toddy was a mentor and friend in politics. He understood the importance of a cross-party approach for the benefit of the people,” the Taoiseach added.

Mr O'Sullivan first stood for the Dáil in a 1979 by-election, before topping the poll in 1981 winning a seat in Cork North Central. He serves as lord mayor of Cork in 1980-1981.

He was re-elected to the Dáil five consecutive times after switching to the Cork South-Central constituency in 1987.

In the Dáil, he served twice as a Minister of State before losing his seat in 1987.

Labour Party Leader Alan Kelly extended his sympathy to the family and friends of Mr O’Sullivan describing him as an “inspiration”.

Deputy Kelly said: “Toddy was a stalwart of the Labour Party in Cork over many decades. He lived a long and successful life, and I am very sad to learn of his passing.

“As a student in UCC I got to know him very well and he was an inspiration to be around, having a deep knowledge and love for his constituents, his party and supporters. I recall many enjoyable visits to his home in the Lough down the years, and he was always so welcoming, and willing to pass on advice and support. The last time I called to him was at the outset of the leadership contest early last year.

“Cork has lost a true gentleman, and someone who always worked hard for his city. A staunch trade unionist, he was always on hand to support his colleagues in the Post Office Workers Union and was rooted in his community in the Barrack Street area.

“Toddy leaves behind a distinguished record of service, nationally and locally, and will continue to be an inspiration to future generations of Labour activists in Cork.

“On behalf of the Labour Party I extend my deepest sympathies to his family, friends, supporters and local community,” he added.