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Martin, Micheál

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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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Deputy Micheál Martin

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Micheál Martin

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Snippet Contents:

Duine agus polaiteoir den scoth ab ea Mark Killilea. Tírghráthóir a bhí ann. Duine a thuig tábhacht an ghnáthdhuine agus bhí Mark dílis dá mhuintir féin agus dá dhúiche féin. Bhí suim dháiríre faoi leith aige i gcúrsaí reatha na tíre. Feirmeoir cumasach a bhí ann agus d'oibrigh sé go dian dícheallach ar son fheirmeoirí agus mhuintir na tuaithe ar fud na tíre. Fear cineálta, cairdiúil, grámhar ab ea é. bhí sé páirteach in an-chuid rudaí agus go háirithe bhí grá faoi leith i gcúrsaí Chumann Lúthchleas Gael agus go háirithe Cumann Chora Finne, mar is eol dom féin. Bhí sé gnóthach in a lán rudaí agus bhí a lán cairde aige ach gan amhras bhí sé éifeachtach agus bhain sé an-chuid rudaí amach i rith a shaoil.
Mark Killilea was born in 1939, one of six children, in Ballinamore Bridge outside Ballygar. He was born into an intensely political family, a family that believed in developing an inclusive Ireland and a society that afforded opportunities to all, and he loved his country. He often spoke fondly of his late father who was also called Mark, who as the Leas-Cheann Comhairle said was first elected as a Deputy in the 1920s and served right up to the late 1960s, which was an extraordinary career in itself. Mark's father was an extraordinary man. He was a farmer and was an active member in the War of Independence and a founding member of Fianna Fáil. He was a person from that great generation that laid the foundations of the State.
It is not surprising then, given that public service ethos in the family and that commitment to country, that Mark himself would enter the political arena. Prior to politics, he too was a farmer, a beet grower, an auctioneer, an agricultural contractor and an extraordinarily multi-talented individual. I have listened to some of his interviews. He started out as a councillor, became a Senator in 1969 and a Deputy in 1977. He was a very effective Minister of State with responsibility for posts and telegraphs and he was a Member of the European Parliament from 1987 to 1999.
He too believed in public service and was a member of many organisations and had a particular love of the Gaelic Athletic Association and his beloved Corofin GAA club, which has achieved so much. Mark was a very gregarious and charismatic person and politician and drew people towards him. One of his great friends in politics, Ray MacSharry, summed up Mark very well when he said: As the Leas-Cheann Comhairle said, it was Mark who, when describing Fianna Fáil supporters, because the interviewer at the time had asked who were these people, said he represented the people who ate their dinner in the middle of the day. When one met Mark, one always remembered his relaxed witty and straight talking ways. When I became leader of Fianna Fáil, he was not slow to pick up the phone to give me advice on potential candidates, strategy and so on. He give it to one straight because he had a passion about renewing and recovering the party.
Over the last few days I listened to his interviews. In his early days, as a councillor, he chaired the health board.