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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Snippet Contents:

On behalf of the Rural Independents I will briefly say a few words on the life, times and sad passing of Peter Kelly. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann from Longford-Roscommon in the 2002 general election. When I came here in 2007 I gained no greater friend than Peter. I also gained his advice and counsel, as well as his laughter and fun. He regaled us with many stories about his trips to London and New York in dealing with Longford Irish associations. He loved his family but his native Longford was also a great love. I was present in the parliamentary party room on the evening he mentioned the story about promotion that Deputy Penrose described and people fell around with laughter. He could turn the most tense occasions into something funny or joyous. He was a true character.
He was a dedicated businessman as a publican and undertaker. He was an astute politician and I served with him on the communications committee as well. He was always in good form. I had the benefit of his hospitality in Dublin once or twice when we could not get accommodation. Peter looked after many of us. I express our deepest sympathies to his wife, Maura, and the family here today. I know how much they will miss him. We all miss his wit and enthusiasm. He demonstrated great political prowess, having been the late Albert Reynolds's right-hand man. He had many stories about that as well. He was a true Gael and Longford man, a true family man and a great politician. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.