It is with deep sadness that I learned this morning of the death of Seán Staunton of Westport, the current Chairman of Mayo Fianna Fáil, a member of Westport Town Council for 37 years (Chairman on 8 occasions), a member of Mayo VEC and a former Editor of the Mayo News.
Seán was an absolute gentleman for whom the traits of honour and integrity were at his very core-personally, politically and professionally.
He was passionate about many things in life but the development of Westport was one of his life’s absolute missions and the Westport of today owes much of its tourism, business, cultural and civic success to the vision of a small group of people, at whose heart was Seán. He was proud to be a member of the Fianna Fáil party but his hallmark on Westport Town Council was putting on the Westport jersey before any other. Seán was a Westport Tourism pioneer, an experience which he put to wider use during his time on the board of Ireland West Tourism.
He was passionate about education and served as a member of Mayo VEC for many years, during which time he was involved in the expansion of schools and course offerings across the county, especially in the area of adult and second chance education.
He oversaw the development of the Mayo News into not only one of Ireland’s finest papers but also one of Europe’s. A talented and passionate journalist in his own right, he fostered and nurtured the careers of many of the journalists who are household names across this county and country today. It is testament to his dedication to the paper and to his professionalism that he worked right up until illness prevented him.
He has been Chair of Mayo Fianna Fáil since 2010 and his guidance and advice has been essential as we renewed the party across the county over that time. His counsel was always wise and considered and I am particularly grateful for having had that available to me over that time.
It was a privilege to have known him, to have served with him and to have been guided by him.
My thoughts and prayers are with his adored and adoring family, his wife Sal, his daughters Reine, Sarah & Leone and his wider family. I thank them for sharing him with all of us and assure them of our support at this time.