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Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh

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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

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Snippet Contents:

Cuirim fáilte roimh mhuintir de Barra anseo tráthnóna inniu agus déanaim comhbhrón leo. I pay tribute to a former Deputy, Minister, Ard Mhéara and freeman, Peter Barry, somebody who made a very substantial contribution to life in his country and city. He remains held in the very highest regard and his service to his country was considerable. I particularly note that although much of the discussion has been about his contribution as a Minister and Deputy, in Cork the honour of being a freeman is quite significant. The family has a particular connection to the office of Lord Mayor, which is held in very high regard by the people of Cork because of the tradition of MacCurtain and MacSwiney. It is clearly very important to the family and worth recognising that, although it was before my time, he was regarded as an excellent Lord Mayor who represented the city with great distinction.
Comment has already been made on his support of many sporting organisations in the city and county. He had a very close affinity with Cork Constitution rugby club, as well as the "Rockies" and Cork hurling and football in the form of a corporate sponsor. I suppose it would be impossible not to remark on his legacy as a businessman with regard to tea. I grew up in a world where Barry's tea was an enormous national brand, but it was very interesting to hear at the funeral how he managed to grow the business from a relatively small shop on Princes Street, although I could be corrected on that. The business became a national and international brand. Cork is a place that is very proud of its various food, drink and produce but there is probably hardly any brand more strongly associated with Cork than Barry's tea. Deputy Martin remarked that perhaps we should all have tea and I am sure the Government would be delighted to have a supplier with as much reliability as the late Mr. Barry would have been.
I did not know former Deputy Barry particularly well. I think I met him once. In all the tributes I heard, the one word standing out was that he was a gentleman. There seems to be a very strong consensus on that across all parties and background. It was very impressive to see the whole life of the city represented at his funeral. He was clearly a man with a great deal of courtesy, decency and civility. All sides of the House could learn a great deal from that. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.