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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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Snippet Contents:

I had the privilege of serving with both Seán Ardagh and Seán Calleary. The Ceann Comhairle rightly spoke of the two as being honourable men. There are many parliaments in which that title is given to members as a matter of course. In the case of Seán Ardagh and Seán Calleary, it was completely merited and earned. They understood fully and embraced and accepted the privilege it is to serve one's community in our national Parliament. They worked to advance not only their own constituents' interests but to contribute to the national good. Both men could be described as rocks of sense. The views they expressed were always listened to carefully by other Members. At committees and during debates in the House, one listens to the views expressed by certain individuals in order to test one's own views. Very often, the views expressed by Seán Calleary and Seán Ardagh were so thoughtful, anchored in logic and obviously carefully considered that they altered the views of others, including even those who came here with fixed positions.
Seán Calleary and Seán Ardagh represented the highest standards expected of Members of the House. Seán Calleary had a distinguished ministerial career and graced several portfolios with discernment and ability. I have always had an interest in overseas development aid and I helped to establish the Parliamentarians for Africa group. Seán Calleary was a pathfinder in that area. When Ireland was poor, or certainly much poorer than it is now, he built awareness of our responsibilities to developing countries. That will be a very important and long-lasting legacy memorial of his. His sporting achievements have been referred to by a number of speakers. Deputy Micheál Martin referred to Sean's talent in this regard. One can well imagine his delight had he been present at the Aviva Stadium two weekends ago to see Ireland beat the All Blacks, which achievement few of his generation of rugby players could have envisaged.
The House is the poorer for the loss of people of the calibre and ability of Seán Ardagh and Seán Calleary. On my own behalf and on behalf of the Labour Party, I express sincere sympathy but also congratulations to the families of Seán Ardagh and Seán Calleary and the broad band of friends and supporters each of them had and, indeed, to their political family in Fianna Fáil.