CASTLEBAR'S FIRST CITIZEN The late Brendan Henaghan pictured after becoming Mayor of Castlebar in 2006 with his wife Patricia and mother Carmel. Above Brendan's left shoulder is a picture of Brendan's father John, when he wore the same chain of office in the 1980s. Pic: Tom Campbell
There was widespread shock in Castlebar and beyond this morning as news broke of the sudden death of well-known and popular local businessman and politician Brendan Henaghan.
Mr Henaghan, aged 53, took ill at his home in Snugboro, Castlebar on Sunday night and despite intensive efforts, he passed away in the early hours of this morning at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar.
Mr Henaghan was a Fine Gael member of Castlebar Town Council from 2003 until the abolition of town councils in 2014.
He served as Mayor of Castlebar on two occasions, following in the footsteps of his late father John.
For many years he ran the family business on Ellison Street, initially as a chemist and, latterly, as a health food store.
A very popular member of the trading community in Castlebar, Brendan was married to Trish and the couple have three sons – Tom and twins John and Colm. Brendan is also mourned by his mother Carmel, mother-in-law Esther, relatives and a wide circle of friends.
A native of Ballymacragh, Castlebar, Brendan was the only child of John and Carmel Henaghan.
Former Taoiseach leads tributes
Former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, has led the tributes to Mr Henaghan
“The community of Castlebar will miss Brendan Henaghan. His life, lived to the full, was devoted to his family, his community and to his party. Brendan was affable, gregarious, interested and dedicated to his public duties when he served as a member of Castlebar Urban Council from 2004 until 2009, and again from 2009 until 2014.
“He served his town with great distinction as Mayor in 2005, and again in 2012. His charm was infectious to say the least. He followed in the footsteps of his late father, John, who also served on the town Council.”
Deputy Kenny said Brendan was a true, loyal and staunch Fine Gael member, who stood by his party at all times.
“He was of enormous and critical support to me personally during my time as a Deputy and as Taoiseach. I will miss him greatly. I extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Brendan’s wife, Patricia, and to their children, Tom, aged 14 and their twin boys Colm and John, aged 10, and to his mother Carmel, on the sad passing of Brendan - a devoted husband, father and son.”
Brendan stood for Castlebar Urban District Council elections in 1999, but was narrowly defeated by Cllr Michael Kilcoyne for the last seat.
However, Mr Henaghan did not have to wait until the next election to become a councillor. With the abolition of the dual mandate, Senator Paddy Burke had to vacate his UDC seat and so Brendan Henaghan was co-opted on November 13, 2003.
He soon proved his worth in the electoral arena too, romping home in the 2004 town council elections, being elected on the first count, along with poll-topper Michael Kilcoyne.
He comfortably retained his seat in 2009, being the third elected and the first of four Fine Gael councillors home.
He served as Mayor for two terms, in 2006/07 and 2012/13. His father also served for two years in the same role and in 2012 Brendan expressed his pride at following in his father’s footsteps.
Mr Henaghan contested the local county council elections in 2014 but was unsuccessful in an election which was a hard fought one for any Fine Gael politician.
A passionate Castlebar man, Mr Henaghan was always championing his town in his role in politics and business.
He was a part of the furniture in downtown Castlebar and was popular for his warmth, sense of humour and friendly manner.
May his gentle soul rest in peace.