There is deep shock and sadness following the sudden passing of a popular Laois publican over the weekend.
Slieve Bloom native Tom, who owns Tom Delaney and Sons Pub in Mountrath, passed away on Sunday at the age of 56.
He leaves behind his devoted wife Anne and three sons – Tom, Padraig and Darragh.
Local Independent Cllr James Kelly paid a glowing tribute to Mr Delaney and told how the whole of Mountrath and Slieve Bloom is in a state of shock.
He said: “This is a terrible shock for the town of Mountrath and indeed for Slieve Bloom too. Tom was an absolute gentleman and his loss will be felt by many people here and across Laois.
“Tom had his pub in Mountrath and before that he worked for years in the Leix County Hotel in Borris-In-Ossory when it was in its pomp. It is a tragedy and we are all floored by what has happened.
“Like many publicans, Tom would’ve been in the process of getting his business in a position to reopen shortly. For him, the safety of his staff and his customers was always the most important thing.
“Tom was a gentleman who would do anything that he could to help people if they asked for it.
“Whether you were a king or a pauper, Tom treated everyone the same and the news of his passing is so sad.
“My condolences go to his family. May Tom Rest in Peace.”
At the age of 54, he played in goals for his club in a Division 5 football league game against Mountrath with Tom, Darragh and Padraig also present.
A man with huge passion for sport, Tom formerly played hurling and football for Castletown and football for the Laois Vocational Schools team back in his younger years.
May Tom Rest in Peace.