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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:

Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a dhéanamh le clann Ted Nealon. Ní raibh aithne pearsanta agam ar Ted ach léigh mé na leabhair a scríobh sé, go háirithe Nealon's Guide, agus chonaic mé é agus an tUasal Brian Farrell ar RTE. Mar a dúirt an Taoiseach agus daoine eile, mar Theachta Dála agus mar shaoránach, rinne Ted Nealon obair galánta ar son mhuintir an Stáit agus ar son a Dháilcheantar féin. Thar ceann Shinn Féin, ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a dhéanamh lena bhean chéile, Jo, a mhac, Fergal, a iníon, Louise, agus an teaghlach ar fad. Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a dhéanamh fosta le Fine Gael.
Fine Gael was very much a part of Ted Nealon's life and he enriched it as has been said and acknowledged by his contribution over many years. I did not know him personally. I read Nealon's Guide and I saw him on RTE programmes, particularly on "Seven Days" with Brian Farrell. As others have pointed out, he was elected to this House in 1981. I remember that year well because it was the year of the hunger strikes. Kieran Doherty and Paddy Agnew were also elected and Joe McDonald narrowly missed being elected in Sligo-Leitrim. That was Ted's second attempt to be elected and he went on to hold that seat for 16 years, winning six successive general elections before he retired. As is well known, before he became a full-time politician, he was a journalist. I want to associate myself with the Taoiseach's remarks and other remarks about Brian Farrell. These two men modernised people's understanding of politics, particularly in the detailed approach that they took and the encyclopaedic knowledge they both had. I noticed a few times in the days of black-and-white broadcasting that he clashed with people with whom he would later share government. His work as a journalist obviously empowered him and gave him particular insights as to how he would function as a Deputy.
I read Ted Nealon's Nealon's Guide. Some members of the current Fine Gael Party might not appreciate the fact that his very well researched work was utilised by Sinn Féin to assist our electoral engagement but I am sure Ted Nealon would be delighted because it is very clear that he loved politics, electoralism, Parliament and all that goes with it.
On top of all of this, we must remember that, aside from the being a public figure, he was a husband and a father. To Jo, Fergal, Louise, and his extended family, I express my sincere sympathies because it is they who will have the huge gap in their lives. I hope they will take comfort from the tributes paid here and those I am sure that were paid locally and that they will know that in his long life he helped many people and that he was generally liked and respected by friends and political opponents alike. That is something that is hard to achieve - to be liked by one's political opponents as well as by one's friends. Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.