I wish to pay tribute to the life of public service of Mary Sylver, of Piercetown, Dunboyne, who served for many years as a Fine Gael member of Meath County Council, representing the then Dunshaughlin Electoral Area, which encompassed all of South East Meath, including Ratoath and Ashbourne.
Mary was a woman of resolute convictions. She had firm views of political issues, but argued for them in a considerate and moderate way.
She had a vision for the development of her locality, and was, I believe, the first public representative of any party to make the case for the reopening of the rail service to Dunboyne, which now is in place, and provides a platform for the economic development of Dunboyne, linking it to the financial and technological hub in Dublin.
She was married to the late Michael Sylver, a prominent greyhound trainer.
She had wide cultural interests, was accomplished in flower arrangement, and worked for people with disabilities, after her retirement from politics.
She will be remembered locally a particularly kind neighbour, who cared for people who had troubles, and called in to see people who might be isolated in any way. I was proud to count her among my closest friends and allies during my political career.