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Snippet Contents:

Before I call for a minute's silence in respect of the former Taoiseach, I will briefly add my own few words to what has already been said. First, I express my sympathy to CiarĂ¡n, Liam, our former colleague, and Mary who provided so much support to Mr. Cosgrave over many years.
Like Deputy Eamon Ryan, I was a teenager during the 1970s and my awareness of Liam Cosgrave was from the national media. However, when I came to this House I had the opportunity to meet him at State functions and in Croke Park and I found the media image of someone who was stern and austere was completely removed from the reality of a man who was warm, friendly, kind and engaging. My most regular engagement with him was at his beloved Punchestown - he was there every year without fail - and we had wonderful conversations about a wide variety of issues. What struck me was his keen intellect and incredible memory and that he was always engaging, encouraging and enlightening. A person, having met him, would come away feeling he or she had got something from that particular engagement.
As has been said, he laboured here before opinion polls and focus groups and one certainly always had a sense that this was a leader who did not have to put his head out the window to see which way the wind was blowing. He was a really devoted politician of conviction and he never departed from those convictions. We all know him to have been a man of substance. All of us would have to say that his long service greatly benefited this country and those who observed him observed the characteristics of dignity and integrity. We would all do well to be able to emulate those characteristics. It was a privilege to have known him.
Let us stand for a moment's silence.