By Dan Walsh at Wexford Council Chamber
Today (Tuesday) was the final working day in the office at Carriglawn Headquarters for popular Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Services, Economic and Development and Planning at Wexford County Council, Tony Larkin, who has taken well-earned retirement after 42 years of public service.
In-house tributes were due to be paid today, but yesterday the announcement was officially announced at the March meeting of Wexford County Council and glowing tributes were paid by members in attendance.
The Enniscorthy native spent all his working life with Wexford County Council, with the exception of a short 18 months stint with Bray Urban District Council many years ago. It is estimated he attended over 400 County Council meetings.
CEO Tom Enright acknowledged Mr Larkin for his immense contribution to many projects including Min Ryan Park, Wexford, the Hatch Lab in Gorey, Enniscorthy Technology Park and Trinity Wharf. “Thanks for the friendship over the past eight years (Mr Enright’s time with Wexford County Council) and I will miss your vast knowledge,” added Mr Enright.
Cllr Ger Carty recalled his late father (Cllr Leo Carty) working with Mr Larkin and he complimented him on his great achievements and outstanding contribution to public service.
Cllr Oliver Walsh asked that he be associated with the tributes from the Chamber. “I have known Tony for a long number of years – I’m 21 years here myself – he is a pure gentleman and a hard worker and I want to thank him for all he has done,” he concluded.
Cllr Davy Hynes recalled working with Mr Larkin when he was Manager at Wexford District and he joined in wishing him and his family well in retirement.
On Behalf of the Labour Party, Cllr George Lawlor said “42 years public service is nothing to be sneezed at”, and he wished him well.
Cllr Pip Breen said Mr Larkin “will be missed, he always wore the Wexford jersey. He had the best interest of all at heart always.”
There were also tributes from Cllrs Jackser Owens, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, and Jim Codd.
Colleague and Director of Services Eamonn Hore described Mr Larkin as “a friend and advisor” and he admired his “vast experience and in-depth knowledge.” He added that the people of Co. Wexford are all better for his years of public service and he offered best wishes in his retirement and thanks for his outstanding contribution.
Tony Larkin said he appreciated the kind words, but, refused to solely accept all the kindness; “no individual does projects, we are a team,” he stated. He recalled his good relationship with the members over the 42 years and he enjoyed the work. He concluded that “it doesn’t seem like 42 years and I enjoyed working on the high profile jobs having grown up in a housing estate in Enniscorthy.”
Cathaoirleach Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy added to all the good wishes and tributes and concluded by stating “Tony, we are all going to miss you.”
Mr Larkin’s wife Adrienne and son Eoin were present in the Chamber to hear the tributes on his retirement day and a small reception followed.