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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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Ba mhaith liom, ar son na dTeachtaí Neamhspleácha sa Teach seo, fíor-fháilte a chur roimh chlann Pádraig Faulkner atá sa Dáil tráthnóna inniu. On behalf of the Independent Deputies, I express our sympathy to the family of the late Pádraig Faulkner. Dunleer lost one of its most famous sons with the death of the former Minister and Ceann Comhairle, Pádraig Faulkner, at the age of 94. He was one of the foremost political figures in the country for a generation and was first elected to the Dáil in 1957, the year before I was born, having been encouraged by Eamon De Valera to do so. He held a number of ministerial positions until his retirement in 1987.
He served as Minister in a number of portfolios, including the Gaeltacht, Education, Posts and Telegraphs, Tourism and Transport and Defence. Deputy Faulkner was first elected to the Dáil as a Deputy for Louth and served as Ceann Comhairle from October 1980 to June 1981. He was born on 12 March 1918 and was the son of a farmer. He attended Dundalk CBS before going to St. Patrick's College of Education in Drumcondra and qualifying as a múinteoir scoile.
His love of politics began courtesy of his parents when he was growing up in Dunleer. He unsuccessfully stood for the Dáil as a 36 year old Fianna Fáil candidate in 1954. After this he helped shape generations to come. He smoothed the path to free education, urging the need for more teachers and school transport. He introduced the laws which saw An Post and Telecom Éireann founded and helped bring the telephone to many rural homes as he backed European policy in this regard. I remember when the first telephone arrived in my house and, as I tell my children today, we were almost afraid of it because it rang through the post office and had to be switched through. We were afraid of it and it was minded. Now my children have all types of devices.