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02/13/2019 12:00:00 AM


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Smith, Brendan

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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 join with other Members in paying tribute to the late Brendan McGahon and my former constituency colleague, the late Seymour Crawford. Seymour and I were both elected to the Dáil on the same day in 1992. Although we differed in our politics, we were always able to work closely together on issues of concern to constituents. On constituency issues, Seymour was a good colleague and a team player with all his fellow Oireachtas Members. As we know, Seymour was an extremely hard-working and committed public representative who gave great service to the people of Cavan-Monaghan. He had a great knowledge and understanding of rural Ireland and was a strong and consistent advocate for rural development.
In the early 1990s and later, we served together on the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly and in those very demanding days in our constituencies, along with Brendan McGahon and others, we were able to highlight the huge difficulties facing Border communities at that time and the need for political progress. While Seymour was being waked at his home in Aghabog, a plenary meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly was being held in London. I, along with others, paid tribute to him at that meeting on his commitment and diligent work over many years in that assembly. My words were repeated by Members from both the Westminster and Irish Parliaments. I saw at first hand that he built up close friendships and good working relationships with other parliamentarians from these islands. I know that Seymour always took a particular pride in his work on the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly and, indeed, when I visited his house to pay my respects, there were photographs of the many plenary meetings of the assembly from the early 1990s and later. Included in those gatherings were many parliamentarians from both Ireland and Britain who played an important role in improving the friendships and the political relationships between our islands. I recall a former Fine Gael Minister for Agriculture tell me some years ago that he held the office of Minister while Seymour held national office in the IFA. The former Minister told me that no matter where he went on a trade mission, Seymour had been there before him. As we know, Seymour was partial to a bit of foreign travel while he served in national office in the IFA.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh anamacha Bhreandáin agus Seymour and I extend my sincere sympathy to both families.