Death of TD who won only Louth by-election

THE funeral took place on Friday last of former Louth TD George Coburn, who won the only by-election ever held in the county.

George Coburn was first elected to the Dail in the by-election of 1954 after the death of his father "The Juker" James Coburn who died in December 1953.

"The Juker" whose funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Dundalk, had been a Dail deputy since 1927. He was a member of the National Party, and an independent before joining Fine Gael in 1937.

After winning the by-election, George held onto the seat in the general election of 1954 and was re-elected in 1957 when he also brought in a young PS Donnegan.

This was the only time Fine Gael held two seats in Louth. George retired from the Dail in 1961.

George grew up at St Mary's Road. He spent some years studying for the priesthood, but then gave up his ecclesiastical studies and went to work with the GNR.

After he retired from the Dail he went to England where he worked as post office official. He returned to Dundalk when he retired in the mid-eighties.

A fine singer he was a member of St Patrick's choir and St Mary's choir.

There was a large turnout for his requiem Mass at the Church of the Holy Redeemer on Friday morning.

Many Fine Gael party members were represented including Fine Gael Dail Deputy Fergus O'Dowd, former deputy Brendan McGahon, MEP Mairead McGuinness, and many councillors including Cllrs Terry Brennan and Jim D'Arcy.

Mass was celebrated by Fr Padraig Keelan Adm assisted by Fr Tom Quigley.

George is survived by brothers Paddy (Adelaide), Tom (New Jersey), sisters Alice Howie (Kent), and Maureen McArdle (Dundalk).

He was pre-deceased by his wife Kathleen, who died on New Year's Eve 2008, and his brothers Brendan and Jim.


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