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O'Dea, Willie

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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:

I also express my deepest sympathy to the Clohessy family. I recall well the election held in June 1981 when Peadar was first elected after several unsuccessful attempts. The ticket included Des O'Malley, Peadar and me. Unfortunately, Fianna Fáil only got two seats and I was third in terms of votes cast, which meant that Peadar was elected. Unfortunately, from his point of view, the Government collapsed after seven months and he did not have a chance to consolidate and expand on his support. Interestingly, in the election in which he lost his seat his first preference vote hardly dropped; he received approximately the same number of first preference votes he had received in June 1981. It was simply the case that the number of votes for me went up and I replaced him in the Dáil, which was not a very happy occasion for me, seeing that my family and I had supported him so strongly during the years, as well as his late uncle, the former Deputy Paddy Clohessy. Of course, he made a comeback, as mentioned by the Taoiseach and Deputy Micheál Martin, and went on to serve several terms under the Progressive Democrats' banner. The fact that he occupied a seat in Dáil Éireann meant that both Fine Gael and ourselves failed to win a second seat on several occasions. Curiously, we did not begrudge him this because there was a general feeling he had been hard done by in losing his seat in February 1982. He was a tireless and dedicated worker for his constituents and a great champion for his people, particularly the disadvantaged people in the more rural part of the constituency.
Peadar Clohessy was not a man for weighty policy speeches in the House. Nevertheless, when he had something to say, he said it and it is worth looking back over his contributions because they are a model of common sense, as befits someone who was so close to his people. His family have every reason to be singularly proud of him as an individual and a public representative. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.