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Martin, Micheál

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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 Micheál Martin

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Snippet Contents:

Táimid bailithe anseo inniu chun comhbhrón a dhéanamh le muintir de Paor as ucht bás Paddy. Is léir d'éinne a raibh aithne acu ar Paddy gur fear mór lách cneasta a bhí ann. Ceannaire agus Teachta Dála den chéad scoth a bhí ann. Múinteoir, cainteoir agus seanchaí den chéad scoth a bhí ann freisin. Ba iontach iad na hócáidí nuair a tháinig gach éinne le chéile i dteach na bPaorach. Bheadh Paddy ann ag insint scéalta do chách, agus baineadh gach éinne taitneamh as. Is fíor a rá go raibh sé ar a shuaimhneas i measc a mhuintire féin. Bhí muintir an phobail ar a shuaimhneas nuair a bhíodar le Paddy. D'oibrigh sé go dian dícheallach ar son muintir a dhúiche féin agus ar son mhuintir na tíre. Is léir go raibh sé an-sásta ag déanamh an obair sin. Bhain sé taitneamh as an méid oibre a bhí faoi chaibidil aige i rith na mblianta. Bhí sé gnóthach i gcónaí.
Today is a sad occasion of reflection for the family of Paddy Power who have gathered here on what would have been his 85th birthday. I hope, however, that what is no doubt tinged with a deep sense of loss for them is also a moment of pride in a lifetime's work and enduring legacy. Paddy's wife Kitty, his ten children JJ, Mary, Gerry, Brendan, Seán who is a former colleague of ours who entered the Dáil as a Deputy on the same day as me in 1989, Patsy, Tony, Enda, Rosario and Loreto, and his grandchildren and in-laws can reflect on a life committed to a greater purpose. I am delighted they have joined us today in the people's Chamber, where Paddy served Kildare and Ireland for 20 years, as we pay tribute to him.
A big and burly character, whose immense physical presence was matched with his oratorical power, Paddy developed a strong political niche for himself in some of the most turbulent political days the State has ever endured. Born in the broad windswept plains of the Curragh he settled in his beloved village of Caragh where he first arrived at a primary school teacher in the mid-1950s. Before he moved into national politics, Paddy established a formidable reputation as a community activist. Perched on a hill which towers over the village of Caragh, the local church built in 1960 is a testament to Paddy's work on the ground. A new primary school in the heart of the community, which formed his new teaching podium, was also a product of his work. In the lush large field behind the school his lifelong love of the Gaelic Athletic Association shone through as it was transformed into the nursery for the local Éire Óg hurling team he helped to found. In the classroom there was not much academic objectivity as a Fianna Fáil view shone through in any political discussions.
Across Kildare he forged a reputation as a storyteller par excellence, a singer and a raconteur. An old folks party from the Bog of Allen to the Wicklow foothills was not complete without his famed storytelling, a trait which made him popular within these walls also. Paddy was elected to Kildare County Council in 1967 and moved into national politics in 1969. His political life was characterised by his commitment to his constituency and to his community. He was always rooted in his community and was a very strong advocate for it.