Cormac Ó Braonáin
Born: August 20th, 2000
Died: December 15th, 2019
Cormac truly was an exceptional person. I have been involved with Labour for just over a year but I hadn’t met Cormac until I started in UCD this year. Although I hadn’t actually been introduced to Cormac, his reputation preceded him. I had heard all about this young fresher who had resurrected UCD Labour and was running essentially a one man show, and excelling at it too. All of this hype around him had actually led me to feel slightly intimidated when accepting to help him run the UCD Labour stall during Freshers Week. However, I was instantly put at ease by his cheeky grin and friendly aura.
As our friendship strengthened over the coming months I was really taken aback by Cormac’s character. Cormac always squeezed the most out of his day, going so far as to skip meals and sacrifice sleep, but he always made everyone feel as though he had all the time in the world to spend time with them. I suppose this has been proven by the overwhelming attendance at his funeral. Even social media has been flooded with the love people had for Cormac. He was an integral part to so many communities; UCD, Colaiste Eoin, Scouts, Labour and Labour Youth, his family, and many more.
Cormac was certainly one of the most important parts of my life. Over our friendship Cormac and I discovered how scarily similar we were. From having the exact same Myers Briggs personality type to our love of Lorde’s “Sober II”. When a group of friends and I were exchanging stories about Cormac I shared one of the most bizarre moments of our friendship. At the end of November I was in the midst of a horrific cold that had shut me off from society for at least 3 days and texting Cormac was the only form of human contact I had. I woke up from one of my death naps and the first notification I clicked into on my phone was an email from Cormac which simply said; “Dear Katie, I wish to inform you that you have been cancelled. Get well soon, Cormac xx”. I have never been more confused yet amused by an email in my life.
Within Labour Youth, Cormac was one of the most respected members. When joining UCD Cormac found that UCD Labour was in slight disarray and had no choice other than to set out helping to regrow the society. Being an Auditor of a society while you are in first year is quite the accomplishment, but while doing that as well as managing a successful local election campaign for Mary Freehill at 18 is extraordinary. Cormac’s attendance at rallies and protests was second to none. Cormac would always be front and centre either raising the labour flag high or leading chants over his (own personal) megaphone. Cormac was far greater than just a comrade to the members of Labour Youth; he was a friend.
I can only speak from a personal perspective, but I presume it’s the same for many others that my life now holds a massive Cormac-shaped hole. Cormac’s death is not just a loss to UCD, it’s a loss to Irish society.
Chairperson UCD Labour