By Carmel Hayes
LABOUR councillor Noel Tuohy will be replaced by his wife Marie on Laois County Council this month, following his retirement on health grounds.
At a meeting of local party members in Portlaoise yesterday evening, Mrs Tuohy was ratified to take her husband’s place on the council until the next local elections in 2024.
She will be officially co-opted at the council’s monthly meeting on the last Monday in February, taking her husband’s seat in the Portlaoise Municipal District.
A popular choice at the meeting in the Midlands Park Hotel, she has always played a very active role in her husband’s political career and election campaigns, as well as playing a key role in her own right in a range of local interest groups and organisations, particularly Portlaoise Leisure Centre.
A native of Clonaslee, she has lived in Portlaoise for more than 40 years since her marriage to Noel and the couple have four adult children, including renowned Aussie rules and former Portlaoise GAA football star Zach Tuohy.
The local ratification will be notified to party headquarters in advance of her co-option as the only Labour representative on the 19-member county council.
Noel was elected to the council in 2014 on his first attempt and was re-elected in 2019.
The following year, he unsuccessfully contested the General Election but polled a respectable 2,011 first preferences. He announced his retirement last December, having previously spoken openly about his Parkinson’s Disease and plans to receive further treatment in London.
When he announced his surprise retirement, he thanked his wife and family for their continued support and was given a standing ovation by fellow councillors.