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Kirk, Seamus

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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 Seamus Kirk

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Snippet Contents:

I am pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the tributes to the late Pádraig Faulkner. He was a man of immense political stature for 30 years or more. Honesty, integrity and practical patriotism were his calling card.
He was an officeholder for 16 of his 30 years in this House. His period as Minister for Education saw considerable, progressive change in a vital area of public policy. The concept of the regional college structure, nowadays institutes of technology, was born during his time at the Department of Education. This tier of third level education has made a huge difference and continues to provide skilled personnel for so many areas of the economy.
As Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, he set the scene for the establishment of An Post and Telecom Éireann as two commercial semi-State companies. His decision set in train a communications revolution with a large capital programme. The availability of a modern communication network played no small part in the country’s economic development since then. As Minister for Tourism and Transport, despite much criticism, he took a courageous decision to proceed with the DART project in Dublin. To quote a remark he made later, “I was happy to be told that the number of passenger journeys has reached 15 million this year”. During the 1980s he was Ceann Comhairle when a number of elections were held in rapid succession. He was appointed to the Council of State in 1990.
The constituents of Louth were always a top priority with him during his years as a Member of Dáil Éireann. We shared the constituency from November 1982 until he retired in 1987. The working relationship was always cordial and co-operative. I very much appreciated his sound advice and considerable mentoring skills during that period. On his retirement from the House, his interest in politics and history never waned. I regularly had the opportunity to reflect on political happenings and to avail of his considerable experience when considering the many issues that arise in every constituency from time to time.
I join in the vote of sympathy to a very distinguished family - his widow, Kitty, and to all the members of the family, Tom, Bartle, Pat and Mary, his in-laws and grandchildren. Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam dilís.