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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Snippet Contents:

On my behalf and on behalf of the parliamentary Labour Party, I join with the Ceann Comhairle and other speakers in expressing our heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Donal Creed and acknowledge the remarkable contribution he made over such a long and distinguished parliamentary career. He was elected in 1965 and served until 1989. In fact, the latter part of his service overlapped with my entering this House; I arrived here in 1987, and I remember Donal well. I remember the election of his son even more clearly, as well as the contribution Michael has made subsequently.
Before being elected in 1965 Donal unsuccessfully contested a by-election caused some months earlier by the death of the Labour Deputy, Dan Desmond. In that by-election Eileen Desmond was elected who, remarkably, became only the second woman in modern times to become a Cabinet Minister. That did not happen all that long ago; remarkable changes have happened in the period since then.
Donal served as one of the nominated Members of the European Parliament in the early days, from 1973 to 1977, at a time when this House selected those who would go. It was the embryonic stage of a democratic assembly on a cross-European basis. It was exciting, because it was the antidote to a century of division and war, and is something we should reflect upon in the context of what is happening in Europe now.
Others have mentioned Donal's achievements in this House. A remarkable job was created for him; he was Minister of State for with responsibility for school buildings and sport between 1982 and 1986. That would be a great job to have. One can imagine going around the country opening schools and dealing with sport. I cannot imagine a greater and more serendipitous combination to have. As Deputy Micheál Martin would say, a Cork native would have revelled in that role.
To be selected as chair of one's parliamentary party is also a unique achievement. The skill set involved with that, dealing with various factions with various views, entails patience, wisdom, discernment and political judgment. It involves holding things together, defusing potential rows and making sure that people do not jump overboard. Delicate balancing is required and Donal's selection by his colleagues to that role bears great testament to that set of skills he obviously had.
I pay tribute to his son, who picked up the baton and continues to serve with distinction in this House, and to say to Madeleine and the extended Creed family that they can all be very proud of the contribution Donal made to this country and to the constituencies he represented with in Cork. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.