Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr John O’ Leary:
It is with great sadness and shock that I learned today of the passing of my good friend, party colleague, and former mayor of Waterford City & County, Councillor James Tobin.
I have the honour of saying I knew James for over 30 years and in that time, I was privileged to work closely with him and consider myself a friend of his.
I first met James when he was Chairman of the Waterford GAA County Board in 1984. As a proud member of Knockanore Shamrocks club, chairing the county board during the GAAs centenary year was something he was immensely proud of.
James immersed himself in his community and undertook numerous roles in order to make a difference. He was a member of Knockanore, Glendine, Kilwatermoy Community Council, Member of South East Regional Authority and Vice Chairman of Déise Link Rural transport Committee, a role he particularly relished as he was committed to ensuring that people in remote rural villages and towns had access to transport to ensure they didn’t feel isolated. He was also Chairman of Board of Management of St. Carthages House Lismore.
James’ commitment and dedication were far-reaching in local politics. He was a councillor since 1999 and in 2014/15 he became the first Mayor of the newly amalgamated Waterford City and County Council. At the time, James stated that he thought this might be a difficult role, trying to bring two separate entities together so they would work in harmony. However, it was something that he managed to do, almost seamlessly and in doing so, set a very high bar for future Plenary Mayors.
In 2020/21 James served as Cathaoirleach of Dungarvan/Lismore district Council.
It was less than a week ago that James was elected Deputy Mayor of Waterford City and County, and I was very much looking forward to sharing my mayoralty with a man whose selflessness and dedication to his constituents were his trademark.
James lost the love of his life, Anne, less than two years ago. She was a woman he described as ‘his rock’ and he often recalled how she was so giving of her time to everyone she met. Like James, the rural community held a special place in Anne’s heart.
I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to James’ children Mairéad, Micheál, Seán, Áine, Séamus and Pádraig, their partners and grandchildren, and the community of Ballyhamlet, Tallow.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford City and County Council:
Waterford City and County Council has lost a dedicated public servant and a man whose commitment to his community was consummate.
James served as a councillor for over twenty years and in that time, his love of his family, his party and his community was evident.
Even throughout the difficult time when he lost his beloved wife, Anne, James served with great dignity and strength.
I would like to extend my condolences to his children, grandchildren, and extended family, to the community of Ballyhamlet and Knockanore, his party colleagues and fellow councillors.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Cllr James Tobin, serving as Mayor of Waterford City and County in 2014/15