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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:

Brendan McGahon was a gentleman, a politician, a family man and a friend. It was a very sad day for the people of Louth when Brendan passed away on 8 February 2017. Brendan was predeceased by his wife Celine and survived by his five children, Robert, Conor, Adele, Keith and Jill. What can one say about Brendan McGahon? He was a great man and he used to call to my constituency office to give me, as a new Deputy, advice and then he would take me on walk through the streets of Dundalk. When one took such a walk through Dundalk, one felt nothing but jealousy because everybody knew Brendan. People would say thanks to him for getting planning permission, a medical card or a house. He was thanked for almost everything. I welcome his family here today and his close friends Isobel Sanroma, Kay Duffin, former Senator Jim D'Arcy and Anna McKenna. People travelled from Dundalk today.
Brendan was first elected to the Dáil 1982 and retired in 2002, having served two decades. The first thing Brendan said to me when I became a politician was that a politician requires a personality and not a party. In fairness, I studied that from day one. We could talk about Brendan all day. Brendan loved soccer and used to slag me that he played for Dundalk in the League of Ireland, which was fantastic. He was also a GAA supporter. He loved the horse racing and I used to meet him sometimes in Barry O'Brien's bookies' shop in Quay Street. Brendan would say to me not be afraid to my hand in my pocket and give the locals a few pound. He was always very good that way.
I remember visiting Brendan in Beaumont Hospital shortly before he died. I only intended to stay a few minutes but ended up staying two hours. The knowledge, the respect and everything else Brendan had was unbelievable. He was a great character.
I remember when I became a politician and joined Fine Gael, myself and Brendan did not meet eye to eye because we did not really know each other. I remember the first time I met him in his kitchen in the house in Ravensdale. He said to me that he did not know me and that I did not really know him. We sat there for nearly an hour after which we became good friends. I explained the reason I became involved in politics and joined Fine Gael and, in fairness, he showed me respect. I had nothing but admiration for him. It was a very sad day for the people of Louth when he died. I wish the family and his friends all the best in the future.