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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:

We women like to get the last word and, therefore, I thank the Ceann Comhairle.
I share in the expressions of sympathy for the late, great Paddy Harte. It is my misfortune that I did not get to know him properly but, given the words that have been expressed, it is clear he was a great son, husband, father, grandfather and a tremendous asset to the country and politics. I share in the expressions of sympathy to his family, who are present.
As a Dún Laoghaire Deputy who has done clinics every Saturday for the past decade, for which I hope I am not taking a retrograde step, it is with great pride that I pay tribute to the late Monica Barnes, who was a real trailblazer. When I consider what a privilege it is for me to be sitting as a Member of the House, I know I am here because of the great work and courage of women like Monica Barnes who came before me and laid down the strong foundations for us to be here today.
Monica was always admired in the house in which I grew up, which was also full of strong, liberal women who outnumbered my father on many occasions. Owing to her party and the woman she was in principle, she was greatly respected and honoured not only in my house but in Dún Laoghaire. When Monica was first elected to the House in 1982 to represent the people of Dún Laoghaire, she also represented women the length and breadth of the island. She represented us all with fire, dignity and grace. She was committed to the idea of a fair and just society, and used her time in this House and the Seanad to advance women's rights in Ireland in all forms. She was the forerunner of the wonderful, strong, articulate, capable women who sit in the Oireachtas today. The women of Ireland have a duty and onus to keep that flag flying, whether in equal pay, healthcare, childcare or many other areas where Monica started the journey.
Monica did the work she did in the House and outside of it because she believed it was the right thing to do. She stood her ground and fought for what she believed to be right. It may not have been the easy route to take many a time, but she made no apology for it, and her strong legacy lives on. My hope, which I hope is shared by all of us, is that history will never forget the great courage, compassion and wisdom of this great lady, and that we in the House can be inspired by her strong determination to do justice to those who elect us. I express my strong sympathy to Monica's family, who are in attendance.