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Snippet Contents:

We will move to expressions of sympathy on the death of our former colleague, Mark Killilea. Before calling the leaders of the parties, I have the pleasure and the opportunity to express my sympathy to his wife, Anne, and to his family who are here with us, including his children, Éidín, Niamh, Deirbrin, Niall, Donagh, Medbh and Eimhín; his sisters Vera and Bríd; and his brother-in-law, Éamon O'Donoghoe, who was Superintendent of the Houses of the Oireachtas for years.
Mark was a man of the people. He was a hard-working public representative. His father was here for 34 years, from 1927 to 1961. Mark worked at all levels in politics, at council level, in the Seanad, as a Deputy, as a Minister and as an MEP. It is important to remember that he was a quaestor in the European Parliament and was elected by colleagues across the political divide.
He distinguished himself in every chamber he represented the people of Galway or Connacht-Ulster. I had the pleasure of working with Mark in Europe and in the Dáil Éireann. Mark had a long and distinguished career. As an MEP, he majored in agricultural and rural affairs and worked closely with a former colleague in this House, Ray MacSharry, who was a European Commissioner at that time.
He was a great mentor to me when I went to Europe in 1994 after an exciting campaign. Some of the people in Connacht-Ulster will remember that. He was generous with his time when showing me the workings of the European Parliament and the committee system.
In politics, as in life, we are fortunate if we meet people with exceptional qualities. Mark Killilea was naturally gifted, talented, sincere and generous with his time. When one meets someone like that, one always remember them. I remember well our first campaign in 1994. When I go west, I still hear Tina Turner in my ear, singing "Simply the Best". He felt he was simply the best and it was an exciting campaign.
It is popular to build walls now. Mark Killilea, while he was good at everything, he was not great at the geography of Ireland. He had an imaginary wall-----