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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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Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys)

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Snippet Contents:

I want to acknowledge the family and friends of our late colleagues, Seymour Crawford and Brendan McGahon, and extend our sympathies to them. While I did not know Brendan personally, I heard the stories of a very colourful and outspoken character, which is probably in contrast to the more reserved approach Seymour always adopted.
I would not be standing here today were it not for Seymour Crawford. As has been stated, he was the person who introduced me to politics in 2003, when I was co-opted onto Monaghan County Council in his place. He took a chance on a woman with no history or involvement in politics, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me. Seymour was not just a political mentor, he was a good neighbour and a very good friend. He was an extremely hard-working Deputy and he served the people of Cavan and Monaghan with great distinction in Dáil Éireann from 1982 until his retirement in 2011. Anybody who knew Seymour will know he was a gentle giant. He was steeped in agriculture and a man of the land and of the people - he really was a man of the people and all things rural. He was extremely good-natured and he would always go beyond in his efforts to help his constituents, whether that meant helping farmers in preparing their accounts, filling up a medical card application or just being there when they needed him.
Politics and helping people were Seymour's passion. He was at his happiest when he was out and about, meeting people. Even after his retirement he would continue his house calls to old friends and he loved nothing more than recounting past political battles. Above all else, Seymour was a very successful politician and he never lost an election. He would have been the first to say that the secret to his success was the very loyal group of people helping him out across Monaghan and Cavan, particularly in his home area of Aghabog. He introduced the political bug into that small rural community when he was elected to Monaghan County Council back in 1991 and, from that day to this, there has been an unbroken period of political representation from Aghabog.
It is a very proud history for a small community and I know it is something of which Seymour's family and friends, some of whom are in the Gallery today, are very proud. I often say that we will find the best canvassers in the country in Aghabog because Seymour trained them so well. He did not take "No" for an answer. He would keep going into the late hours and he would say, "We will get another house done." It was those same people who worked so hard with Seymour through his career and during his various campaigns who rallied around to help when he passed away last October. I want to acknowledge, in particular, Seymour's nephews, Andrew and Alistair, his niece, Kirsten, and his many friends, including Paddy Reilly and Maura Greenan, who helped look after Drumkeen when Seymour was in Dublin.
I know it has been a tough few months but the one thing that has shone through is the esteem and affection people all across Cavan and Monaghan had for Seymour Crawford. He was held in very high esteem by everyone in the Houses of the Oireachtas. Seymour leaves behind a legacy of hard work, decency, passion and commitment to serving the people who elected him. It is one that everybody elected to this House and to public office should aspire to.