Jim O’Sullivan: Tributes paid to Brent’s former Conservative mayor

Former Brent Mayor Jim O'Sullivan has thrown his support behind a campaign to save the Welsh Harp Ed

Former Brent Mayor Jim O'Sullivan has thrown his support behind a campaign to save the Welsh Harp Education Centre - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to former Conservative Brent mayor Jim O’Sullivan who has died.

The grandfather-of-six died on Saturday aged 84.

Mr O’Sullivan was elected as a councillor representing Barnhill in 1998 and served for 12 years.

He was nominated as mayor in 2010 and during his tenure raised £62,000 for the British Irish Advisory Service.

After a two-year delay the council finally handed over the cash to BIAS so they could buy a mini-bus.

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His son John said: “He was a real character. He got on well with everybody. He was passionate about helping people. He didn’t care if someone was Labour, Liberal or Tory. Even though there were very few Tories, people respected him.”

Mr O’Sullivan settled in Brent after leaving Ireland in 1956 living in Dollis Hill, Neasden and Wembley for the last 40 years.

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In 1958 he met and married his wife Mary and the couple had three sons, Michael, John and Kieron.

In October he and Mary celebrated their 60th anniversary and received a hand delivered telegram on behalf of Queen Elizabeth.

Dad was a one off to be honest, he loved canvassing, he loved being on the doorsteps. it didn’t matter whether people shouted or smiled or laughed he would knock on doors and he would talk. He loved chatting, he was a chatterbox and he loved helping people, genuinely, that was his drive in life.”

Former Labour leader Ann John, one of his mayoral nominees, said: “He was a very, very nice man who was very hard working and he was very friendly to people in other parties. I admired him and had the greatest respect for him.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, current Brent Council leader said: “Jim O’Sullivan was a councillor who absolutely cared about all the residents that he served.

When he was mayor he represented all the communities but made sure that the Irish community had presence and were recognised for their contribution and success. He will be missed.”

Cllr Ketan Sheth said: “Jim was fabulous campaigner who represented Barnhill residents at the Town Hall with much passion and energy. He was a delightful colleague and will much missed.”

Martin Francis, chair of Governors of Chalkhill Primary School said: “Jim O’Sullivan was a governor of Chalkhill Primary School when it was going through a difficult time.

“He brought energy and humour to the role and was passionate in his advocacy of the school in the community.

“With his huge network of contacts there was always someone he could get in touch with to help the school.

“He cared deeply about the children and fought fiercely on their behalf.

“It is wonderful to think that he lived to see it become one of the best performing schools in Brent.”

Mr O’Sullivan is survived by his wife, sons and grandchildren Niall, Thomas, Finn, Scarlett, Lily-May and Jude

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