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02/20/2019 12:00:00 AM


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Coveney, Simon

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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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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Senator


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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney)

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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney)

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Simon Coveney

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Snippet Contents:

As a Tánaiste from Cork, I thought it was appropriate to say a few words and, of course, to offer my sympathy to Donal Creed's family, many of whom I know very well. I also wish to honour him today because that is what this is really about. Not many of us in this House can represent constituents for almost a quarter of a century. That is what Donal Creed did in two different constituencies. Very few people in this House will have fought eight general elections and won each of them. Very few of us in this House have the privilege of getting to the very top of local electoral politics, as he did when he was chair of Cork County Council, which believe me one does not achieve unless one is respected across-party as well as within one's own party, as well as having served here for 24 years, and also have been in the European Parliament in what were really the formation years of that parliament. Not surprisingly, he served on the agriculture committee there. As ever, he made an insightful contribution to EU political thinking on agricultural, as well as representing Ireland's interests. He was a Minister of State, in fact, on three occasions, through a very volatile period, as Deputy Micheál Martin referred to. I can remember that period as a child, because my own father won a seat, lost a seat, and won a seat again, over the space of three years. I can remember what that was like in a political family, to deal with such wins and losses.
He was a Minister of State for school buildings and sport, which has been referred to, and at the end of that period managed to get the Government to agree to setting up the national lottery, which was also referred to by a lot of people because it was a significant achievement. It was not easily done at the time and it took typical Creed steeliness and determination to insist on winning that argument, which he did. Virtually every town and parish across the country have benefitted from hundreds of millions of euro as a result of this.
He was also Minister of State for housing for a short period of time, and Minister of State for health in 1981, briefly. These are two pretty tough briefs now, housing and health, but these were no problem at the time to Donal Creed. He remains a much loved figure across Cork, partly because of the fact that he represented two constituencies at different times, but still, when one canvasses rural parts of Cork, people will talk and tell stories about Donal Creed coming into the farmyard, whether they are Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael people or something else-----