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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 Eugene Murphy

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Snippet Contents:

I do not intend to engage the House too long on the basis that our party leader has covered everything. As Deputy Rabbitte was speaking, I was thinking that we now have the constituencies of Roscommon-Galway, Galway East and Galway West but it used to be known for many years as Roscommon-East Galway and Galway West. As our party leader pointed out, Mark originally came from Ballinamore Bridge in east Galway, which is now part of my constituency.
I welcome Anne, his wife, many members of his family, many of his grandchildren and friends who are here today. I first met Mark when I was appointed chairman of Ógra Fianna Fáil in County Roscommon, which is a good few years ago now. I always remember him for his enthusiasm. He always struck me as being very confident, astute and good at organising politics, canvasses and people. I believe it is accepted by everybody, regardless of what side of the House one is on, that Mark, as a junior spokesperson in the then Department of Posts and Telegraphs, along with Albert Reynolds revolutionised telecommunications at that time. If he was still with us together, I have no doubt that he and Albert Reynolds would find a way around the difficulties we have with the provision of broadband.
We should never forget the role he played in Europe, which was quite remarkable. Specifically, I mention the Common Agricultural Programme, CAP, and his many valuable ideas and contributions towards the framing of it. Also, in education, he played a major role in securing finance from Europe for a regional technical college, which was vital for young people particularly in many towns in rural areas.
When I was in Ógra Fianna Fáil we were at a meeting and referring to the CAP and people were saying there would be millions for this and for that but Mark said to me, "Gasúr, never mind talking about the millions, have you sheep farmers living close to you?" to which I replied I had and he said: "Tell them it will mean they will make IR£10 a head extra on their ewe". He broke it down like that in a practical way for people.
It was good to know him. I always loved his company. As Deputy Micheál Martin said, he was certainly a gregarious character. I am delighted to have had a few minutes to express my sympathy. Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.