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Gilmore, Eamon

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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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Senator


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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore)

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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore)

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Eamon Gilmore

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Snippet Contents:

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
On behalf of the Labour Party, I join Deputy Martin and the Taoiseach in expressing sympathy on the death of Paddy Power, a former Member of the Dáil who represented the people of County Kildare for more than 20 years. During his time in the House, he served with distinction as Minister for Fisheries and Forestry, Minister for Defence and Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism. In a long and distinguished career, he also served as a Member of the European Parliament and county councillor.
As I was elected to the House in the year Paddy Power retired from it, I did not have the opportunity of working with or getting to know him personally in the House. From speaking to my party colleagues in County Kildare, Deputies Stagg and Wall, I know, however, that he had enormous commitment to his county and showed great dedication to serving its people. This dedication was not confined to politics and was evident in his early days as a teacher in Caragh national school and after his retirement from the House when he remained active in his local community for as long as his health permitted.
As I stated, I did not know Paddy Power as a Member of the Oireachtas. However, I came across him as a local authority member attending various local authority events, including the General Council of County Councils, as it was then known, and other local government organisations. He was always very courteous and kind and I was always struck by the valued contributions he made to these bodies and the wealth of experience he brought to their deliberations.
I am also aware that Paddy Power was something of an expert master of ceremonies in Kildare, where his wit and great collection of stories and yarns made him the main attraction at many events throughout the county, somewhat to the envy of his political opponents. Perhaps he was also a scourge on them because many of them featured in the stories he told.
As Deputy Martin noted, Paddy Power also made a unique contribution to Anglo-Irish relations during the course of the Falklands war. While the former Taoiseach, Mr. Haughey, was always given the credit afterwards for having taken the British to task over the sinking of the General Belgrano, the history books and any examination will show that the issue was first nailed by Paddy Power at a meeting of the Fianna Fáil comhairle ceantair in Edenderrry at which he described the sinking as it was. Within days, the then Government tabled a United Nations resolution and took a position on the sinking that has been vindicated with time. The issue certainly caused considerable controversy and probably will be the subject of debate for a long time.
While Paddy Power's former constituents and colleagues will undoubtedly miss his engaging presence, it is always at home that loss is most keenly felt. I extend the deepest sympathy of the Labour Party to his wife, Kitty, and children, J.J., Mary, Gerry, Brendan, Patsy, Tony, Enda, Rosario, Loreto and Sean, a former colleague in this House with whom I had the privilege of serving on many Oireachtas committees. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.