There are people like the late Jerry Savage in every political party and in every constituency in the country. You’ll bump into them in a town or village on your travels and they loaded down with literature, knocking on doors and spreading the word on the party and on the candidates of the day. Jerry Savage epitomised and carried the Sinn Féin message proudly as Francie Brosnan did for Fine Gael or Joe Foran did for Labour and Billy Moloney did for Fianna Fáil in their own areas.
Eagerness for Duty
There was never any doubting of their eagerness for duty and that zeal alone must be worth a sack of votes to the men and women they backed-up and followed. Jerry Savage was immersed in the culture and day-to-day life of his native Ballymacelligott and he contributed enormously to his community. Himself and Mike
McSweeney researched the published articles on the founding of the GAA in Kerry and in the Ballymacelligott area in particular. A proud and fluent Irish speaker, Jerry was also a founding member of the Kerry GAA Supporters’ Club and served as chairman up to a few years ago.
His involvement and work with Sinn Féin in the North Kerry area was marked at national level in November 2012. He was presented with a piece of sculpture in recognition of an association with the party which spanned over 60 years. The presentation was made at the City West Hotel by Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams. Jerry, just three months into his 87th year, took a keen interest in republican politics in the late 1940s. Before taking up farming in Ballymacelligott in the early 1950s he spent a few years working in England.
After watching the party’s fortunes fluctuate in polls and elections over the years, Jerry’s involvement reached its height at the Brandon Hotel count centre in 2002 when Sinn Féin candidate, Martin Ferris was elected a TD to represent North Kerry.
Martin Ferris TD pays tribute to the late Jerry Savage
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has paid tribute to veteran Kerry Republican and Sinn Féin member Jerry Savage who passed away on Saturday. Deputy Ferris said Jerry’s contribution to the Republican struggle over the decades was immense and that his passing would leave a huge void in the party in Kerry.
Deputy Ferris said: “Jerry savage was a giant among Republicans in Kerry. His commitment to the struggle for independence since the 1940’s never wavered. In 1944 at just 17 years of age Jerry joined the IRA, however only a few short years later he, like so many others at the time, found himself on the boat to England in 1949 in search of work. Upon his return to Ireland in 1954 to help with family farm Jerry also returned to the Republican struggle. He was to the fore in reorganising the party following the split of 1969/70.
“In later years Jerry was an enthusiastic supporter of the Sinn Féin peace strategy which led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. He also played a key role in successive local and Dáil elections including my Dáil election in 2002 and subsequent re-elections. He and another great Ballymac Republican, the late Brendy Bonn, probably canvassed more doors than anyone during those elections.
“Jerry had a passion for all things Irish and was fluent in his native tongue. Of course a lot of people will remember Jerry for his love of Kerry GAA. Jerry was a fine footballer himself with his beloved Ballymac. As a founding member of the Kerry Supporters Club it was rare that Jerry would ever miss a Kerry game and indeed he followed Kerry in both codes and at as many levels as he could.
“On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to extend my sincerest sympathies to Jerry’s wife Maureen, his sons Brendan, Brian and Kevin and to his daughters Elizabeth and Carmel and to all his extended family. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam
The RIP.IE Death Notice and Funeral arrangements are as follows: SAVAGE, Jerry, Knockavinnane, Ballymacelligott, Tralee on 22nd March 2014, peacefully, beloved husband of Maureen and dear father of Brendan, Elizabeth, Carmel, Brian & Kevin. Sadly missed by his loving family, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sister Peg, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and many friends. Rest in Peace Reposing at The Gleasure Funeral Home on Monday from 5pm to 8pm with removal at 8pm to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ballymacelligott. Requiem Mass on Tuesday at 12 noon. Interment afterwards in Rath Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers to Friends of Kerry General Hospital.
Date of Death: Saturday 22nd March 2014