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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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Snippet Contents:

Ar mo shon féin agus ar son Shinn Féin ba mhaith liom comhbhrón a dhéanamh le clann agus cairde an iar-Theachta, Jackie Healy-Rae a fuair bás i mí na Nollag 2014.
On my own behalf and on behalf of Sinn Féin I extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of former Teachta Jackie Healy-Rae, who passed away in December 2014. As the Ceann Comhairle has already said, Jackie Healy-Rae was and will forever be remembered as one of the great characters of the House and Irish political life generally. His trademark wit, his plain speaking, his rich melodic Kerry accent and, of course, his flat cap, were all part of this character. While he was sometimes teased or lampooned he was undoubtedly one of the most astute and determined political operators ever to grace the Dáil. I am sure we can all agree on this. It is not only that he represented those who eat their dinner in the middle of the day, he had their backing as well. There is no doubt the people of south Kerry always had Jackie's back and I imagine in the end for him that is all that really mattered.
In a political career spanning 40 years he served three terms from 1997 to 2011. He served 30 years as a member of Kerry County Council, including two stints as mayor of Kerry. As has been said, he never lost an election. That is some record and it is one of which very many of us gathered here are extremely envious. His record of service to the people of Kerry has been continued with the election of not one but two of his sons, our colleagues Michael and Danny, who were elected in 2011 and 2016 respectively. That his grandchildren Maura, Johnny and Jackie Junior now serve on Kerry County Council is further testament to Jackie's legacy and to the political achievements of this political family, the Healy-Raes.
It may be five years on but I have no doubt that the sting of the loss of Jackie is still felt by his beloved family. I extend our sympathies to that family, to his partner Kathleen, to our colleagues Michael and Danny, to his other sons John and Denis, to his daughters Joan and Rosemary, to all of his grandchildren and to all of his other friends and relatives throughout the kingdom and beyond. He may be gone but he will never ever be forgotten. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.