Snippet data - viewing only, no editing possible


Label

Field name

Field value


Sitting_Date

11/26/2014 12:00:00 AM


Sitting_Forum


Snippet Ref No

SnippetRefNo

W00200

Selected Quill

SnippetType

1

Saved Quill

SnippetType_C4D


Selected Quill

SnippetType_1

1

Speaker Name

IndxSpeakerName

Perry, John

Business Category

IndxMainHeadCat

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

Sub Category

IndxSubTopic


Topic

IndxQHeadTopic


See Also

SeeAlso


Part1

TitlePart1


Part2

TitlePart2


Part3

TitlePart3


Volume

VolumeNo

859

Book No

BookNo

2

Pdf Ref

PdfPageRef

400

Default Business Index

IndexViewCategoryDefault

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

3 Part Title Business Index

IndexViewCategoryTitle


Default Topic Index

IndexViewCategoryDefaultSpeaker

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

3 Part Topic Index

IndexViewCategoryTitleSpeaker


Motion Code

MotionCode


Motion Title

MotionTitle


Stage

MotionStage


Amendment No

MotionAmendmentNo


Bill Code

BillCode


Bill Title

BillTitle


Stage

BillStage


Section

BillSection


Statement Code

StatementCode


Statement Title

StatementTitle


Stage

StatementStage


Hour Indicator

HourIndicator

Not applicable

Procedural Instruction

Procedural_Instruction

No

Debate Adjourned

DebateAdjourned

No

Question Askee

QAskee


Question Asker

QAsker


Question Department

QDept


Question ID

QID


Question Reference

QRef


Question Speaker PID

QSpeakerPID


Question Speaker PID To

QSpeakerPIDTo


Questions Asked

QUESTIONSASKED


Speaker Type

SpeakerType

1

Speaker Name

Senator


Deputy


Minister


Witness


Chairman


ViceChairman


ActingChairmanD


ActingChairmanS


Speaker4Display

Speaker4Display

Deputy John Perry

Speaker

Speaker

Deputy John Perry

SpeakerPID

SpeakerPID

JohnPerry

SpeakerText

SpeakerText

John Perry

OriginalUnidSnippet

OriginalUnidSnippet

99992D2C9E51BB1580257D9C0050F5EE

LastModifiedSnippet

LastModifiedSnippet

09/26/2016 11:08:57 AM

TopicIndex1stCategoryValues

TopicIndex1stCategoryValues

Snippet Contents:

I am honoured to be a part of this formal acknowledgement by the Oireachtas of a former Member, colleague and friend, the late Ted Nealon. I welcome members of his family to the Distinguished Visitors Gallery. Ted's wife Jo is unable to be with us today but she is here in spirit. We are joined today by Ted's son, Fergal, and his wife, Sinead, his daughter, Louise, live from Sydney via the Oireachtas television service, his nephew, Ted Nealon, and members of the Loughnan and Townsend families. Their presence today reminds us all that while we have lost a much respected former colleague, they have lost a much loved husband, father and friend. It is appropriate that this commemoration is taking place today as yesterday would have been Ted's 85th birthday. He was born on 25 November 1929 at Coolrecuill, Aclare, County Sligo.
As Ted represented Sligo-Leitrim in Dáil Éireann for 16 years and I followed in his footsteps as a Deputy for Sligo-Leitrim, I came to know him very well, both as a political expert and as a person. It is to Ted Nealon the person that I pay tribute today. The full scope of Ted's life and times, his outstanding achievements as a sportsman, journalist and politician are well-known and documented. For the record, he played with distinction with Sligo GAA for many years and also played with Connacht in the Railway Cup competition. Two of his most outstanding personal qualities were his wisdom and his sense of compassion. His personal wisdom was a combination of exceptional intellectual capacity, evident from an early age in the many council scholarships he won, and in his unique ability to analyse and understand the political process from an early age.
Ted was a distinguished journalist and current affairs broadcaster who made a successful transition into politics, which is very much the exception. It is important to note that he was a reporter and presenter with the RTE programme "Seven Days" and was part of a heavyweight team that included the late Brian Farrell, Bill O'Herlihy and John O'Donoghue. It was the first television programme that brought a new cutting edge to current affairs. Cross-examination was very new at that time. Ted won a Jacob's Award in 1973 for his coverage of the then general election. His analytical side was well-complemented by a strong sense of sympathetic understanding of people. Ted lost his mother when he was a young child and this sad experience sharpened his sense of compassion for others in adversity. As he wrote in his book, the only visual memory of his mother that he carried through life was of the lid of the coffin leaning against the wall of the house as they prepared to take her to the church. It was these particular qualities of intellectual capacity, analytical ability and compassion for people combined into one personality that made him one of the foremost political commentators and election forecasters this country had ever seen.
The Nealon's Guide to the Dáil and Seanad, published in 1973 and following every election since, has become the indispensable bible for those interested in Irish politics. Ted was extremely proud of his agreement with The Irish Times that it continue in publication into the future. Never one to take the easy road, Ted then decided to leave the role of commentator on politics for the more onerous role of actually being in politics. Again, he devoted all his skills and energy to being a very successful local representative for his native place and later became Minister of State. Being the first Minister of State with responsibility for arts and culture and being vested by the French Government with the very distinctive honour of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres were two of his proudest achievements.
I am taking a short cut through his time as a Member of the Dáil because I want to speak a little about what is probably his greatest legacy to us all as politicians, namely, his book entitled Tales from the Dáil Bar. Ted's book, in a spirit of generosity and understanding, speaks of politics and politicians in a style that is illuminating yet kindly and humorous. In the tales he chooses to relate, he speaks to us of his own sympathetic understanding of the challenges facing anyone who wishes to be in politics: the clinics, the funerals, the election campaign canvassing and - a favourite of mine - the everyday challenge of trying to remember the names of a vast number of people and how to try and skate past the problem when a name you actually know becomes trapped on the tip of the tongue and refuses absolutely to move any further.
At the other end of the scale, Ted takes in a vast sweep of economic and social history into his story about the clinic for the poitín maker. First, he tells of how new EU agriculture policies led to the demise of the widespread production of poitín. He then comments on the rural folklore that poitín was a valuable alternative medicine in the prevention of flu and colds, a comment that would be credible enough were it not immediately followed by the advice that if the poitín did not work as a preventative therapy, it was also a great cure for anyone with a bad flu or cold. The tales he chose to write of in his book speak to us of his wisdom and compassion, but it is in the gentle and humorous way he tells the stories that we can come to understand fully his sympathetic view of politics and politicians and of his great insight into and empathy for everyone. Apart from some very witty stories about election rallies and politician retorts to hecklers, he speaks little about the campaigning clashes and policy battles fought within and between parties during election campaigns, preferring instead to focus on the human and personal side of politics within Leinster House. In his modesty, the few stories he tells of his personal involvement in some great political drama are told mostly as a compliment to some outstanding quality of another politician.
In his time as a Member of this House and in his Tales from the Dáil Bar, Ted was generous in his comments about colleagues. It is appropriate that in this formal acknowledgement by the Oireachtas to the memory of our colleague and friend, we are also generous in the memories of him that we share today. I join the Taoiseach and all other Members in expressing sympathy to the Nealon family on the death of Ted. I particularly wish to express my sympathies to his wife and children, his extended family and many friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.