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Death of Former Members: Expressions of Sympathy

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5

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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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Senator


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Snippet Contents:

Tá áthas orm deis labhartha a fháil anseo inniu chun ár ómós a léiriú agus a thaispeáint do chlann Paddy Harte agus do chlann Monica Barnes. Chaith mé tréimhse fhada anseo i gcomhar le Paddy Harte agus Monica Barnes. Bhí mé sa Dáil le Paddy ar feadh 16 bliain agus ar Chomhairle Chontae Dhún na nGall leis ar feadh 12 bliain. Ní raibh focal searbh idir an bheirt againn thar an tréimhse sin. Bhí Paddy ar taobh amháin agus mise ar an taobh eile, ach bhí caidreamh iontach eadrainn. Nuair a tháinig muid isteach anseo, bhíomar anseo mar Chonallaigh - seachas mar bhaill d'Fhianna Fáil nó Fine Gael - chun ár gcuid oibre a dhéanamh thar ceann na ndaoine i nDún na nGall a chuir muid anseo. Bhí ainm Paddy Harte fite fuaite le síocháin agus athmhuintearas, i bhfad sular cuireadh a leithéid ar bun go foirmeálta. Bhí Monica Barnes ag plé le cearta na mban ag an am céanna.
Paddy Harte was a great friend and a great Donegal representative for many years. I am delighted to acknowledge the presence of his wife, Rosaleen and his children, Paddy Jnr, Mary, Anne, Róisín, Garrett, Emmet, Eithne, and Johnny and not forgetting the former Senator, Jimmy Harte. I am sure I speak for everyone when I wish Jimmy continued progress and good health.
Paddy Harte was first elected in 1961 and held his seat until 1997. Therefore, for a short period in his later years here, he was father of the House. He took over from the late Neil Blaney, who died in 1995 and was highly respected. Not alone did he represent north-east Donegal, he also had the distinction of representing all of Donegal. Those of us who are old enough will remember that he was elected to represent the great constituency of Donegal in 1977. I was youngish at the time and not yet a member of the council. I remember meeting him at the Butt Hall at that famous count in 1977. I served with him on the council from 1979 until 1991. As I said in Irish earlier, there was never a sharp word between us through all of those years, which is the way it should be. I came with one party flag and Paddy Harte came with another but when we came to Dublin, we wore the Donegal jersey with pride and carried the Donegal flag. Of course, working together as Deputies makes us stronger.
Paddy Harte can be described as a committed politician, an advocate of justice and fairness and a true Donegal man. He never missed an opportunity to put issues affecting Donegal forward over the years and to make the case for further investment in our native county. I do not know what he would have to say now if he had to abide by the two-minute, seven-minute or ten-minute rule. One did not have to respect it in those days-----