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Death of Former Members: Expressions of Sympathy

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Death of Former Members: Expressions of Sympathy

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Death of Former Members: Expressions of Sympathy

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Deputy Lisa Chambers

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Lisa Chambers

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Snippet Contents:

I am grateful to have the opportunity to express my heartfelt and deep sympathies to the Calleary family, to Doris, Síofra, John, Conall and my constituency colleague, Dara, who I have worked with in Mayo for the best part of ten years. This is a difficult day for the family but it is also a proud one, hearing so many kind words in the Chamber.
Seán served as a Deputy for 19 years, eight of those as a Government Minister, and by any standards that is an exceptional record of public service and one to be extremely proud of. For me in my first term in Dáil Éireann, that level of service is something to aspire to and to admire.
In my personal interactions with Seán, he was always a very considered man, an intellectual, somebody who was well read and somebody who knew his stuff. He understood politics but, more importantly, he understood Mayo politics. I knew that he was a strong source of support for Dara and for the wider Fianna Fáil organisation across Mayo, his opinion was always asked for and he was very well regarded and respected across the constituency and across the political divide. Within Fianna Fáil, we were obviously immensely proud of him and we still are but even in Fine Gael, those with whom he worked on the county council and in Dáil Éireann had great respect and admiration for him. He was a man of integrity, he was genuine and he was trusted and that is something that can be difficult for politicians but he was certainly trusted by the Mayo electorate which was evidenced by his continued electoral success and within the party, climbing to the ministerial rank. He was somebody who was seen as a support, not just for his family and his son Dara, but for the organisation and he is sorely missed within Fianna Fáil nationally and very deeply missed within Fianna Fáil in County Mayo.
As we speak today about the loss of a great public servant, I am conscious that he was a father and a husband and will be deeply missed in that regard. That is not something that will ever be replaced, but is something that one must look back on in appreciation and learn to live with. I am grateful for the opportunity to express sympathy to the family and thank my colleague, Dara, for being a kind person to work with. He embodies many of the good qualities that his father had and he has been a very supportive constituency colleague. I know that his father was immensely proud of him, as Dara was of his father.
On the death of Seán Ardagh, I offer my sympathy to my colleague and friend Catherine, who serves in Seanad Éireann, to his wife Maura, to Charlie, Rory and all of the extended family. I know how difficult this was for Catherine. Having been on the campaign trail with her during the Seanad elections, it was a testing time and she showed huge courage, steel, determination and all the good qualities that we look for in a public representative. I know how much her father meant to her and how much he impacted on her as a person and influenced her career. I am so glad that he got to see her elected to Seanad Éireann and I have no doubt that she will be elected to this House in the near future. I offer my deepest sympathies to her entire family. I did not know Seán personally, although I met him on a couple of occasions, but a bad word has never been spoken about him nor about Catherine. She is a fantastic colleague and she also embodies the good qualities that her father brought to this Chamber. It is lovely to hear all of the kind words across the House for Seán Calleary and Seán Ardagh.