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Murphy, Catherine

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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 Catherine Murphy

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Snippet Contents:

I offer my sincere sympathy to the Power family. I know some of the family members well because I served with Paddy Power and his sons Seán and J. J. on Kildare County Council at various times since 1991. Paddy was elected in 1969 and served as a Deputy and a Minister. He had a lifetime of political experience behind him before I was elected to the council in 1991. Essentially, he was as an adversary.
Paddy was a very proud Kildare man and those of us who were blow-ins to the county got to know this quite quickly. As others noted, he was a devoted family man and we got to know not only him but also his wife, Kitty, because she accompanied him to many events. He was hugely proud of his large family. He was a terrific story teller and a social magnet because he would always be in the middle of a group telling his tales. One dared not to interrupt him because his story telling was always intense. The stories usually ended with the group erupting in laughter. I had the pleasure of being in a few of those huddles to hear his yarns. Some of his sons are lucky enough to inherit these traits.
It is often said politicians cut their political teeth at local level. Paddy was the one who ensured we cut our teeth as Opposition members. I was elected to the council after being involved in an acrimonious campaign on service charges during the 1980s and, as such, I arrived complete with cloven hooves. On my very first day he told me I need not think I was coming in to sweep out the cobwebs. He was putting down a marker straightaway. He was also fiercely loyal in whatever he was involved in. When he discovered by accident that some of my ancestors had been in Fianna Fáil, the ice melted and I was not seen in as bad a light as previously. Over time we made our peace, but I remember the great rows between him and Deputy Emmet Stagg which took up the first 30 minutes of every council meeting. They often resulted in a piece of poetry being devised.
The last time I met him was in Punchestown a few years ago. We had a great chat and it was nice to meet him as a friend. Again, I sympathise with his large family. I know he was proud of them and I am certain that they, in turn, were proud of the role he had played in the Parliament, for the State and County Kildare.