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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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Snippet Contents:

In sympathising with the Power family and with Fianna Fáil, I would be probably right in saying that, apart from the Power family themselves, I knew the late Paddy Power earlier than anyone else here. I first met him in Coffey's field, outside of Caragh, at the under-14 football trials in 1959. At that time, he and a Fr. Lawlor from Robertstown looked after the team. He did a good job of it at that stage and we went on and won the Leinster final in Graiguecullen in Carlow.
Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl has mentioned that Paddy could be described as fair, fierce and fervent. I probably met the three of them two years later when Éire Óg played St. Dermot's in the junior hurling final on the windswept fields of the Curragh and Paddy was playing full forward. As a result of that match, there was a famous heading in the local newspaper, "A Town of Angry Men". Unfortunately, it was Castledermot that was the town of angry men. Indeed, Paddy went on to write a famous poem about that particular match, A Town of Angry Men, and he often recited it to me in later years.
As everyone has said here about Kitty and Paddy, they were a famous couple. My party leader, Deputy Gilmore, was correct about the number of conferences and seminars they went to, and their activity gave hope and direction to so many who attended those. Paddy, unfortunately, was poor of hearing in latter years, yet he was up at the front and he knew what was going on. He knew also the advice to give to young pretenders about political life. That advice was given free of charge. It did not matter of which party the person was a member; he was still willing to do that.
When he became Minister for Defence, right across political lines in Kildare there was a fierce sense of pride that at long last this man who had given his all, in education, in community activity and in political life, had gained the ultimate reward for all that effort. Everyone who met him was delighted in that regard.
I attended a function in the Keadeen Hotel when the Power family celebrated 40 years of involvement in public life - 20 years in the case of Paddy, God rest him, and 20 years in the case of Seán. Surely that must be a record that will be hard to beat, if ever matched, in this House. On behalf of the Labour Party in south Kildare, I offer my deepest sympathy to the Power family. I wish Kitty well. All the family have given so much. Irrespective of whether it was in political life or community life, the Power family has always been to the fore. That was something they learned from Paddy through his efforts. Indeed, I still think Deputy Ó Fearghaíl might have been right about the "fair" part of it but, certainly, I saw fierce and fervent in their full light the day he was wielding that hurley upon the Curragh.