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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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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy
Snippet Contents:

Go raibh maith agat. Bernard McGlinchey was born in a different era and in the first year that Éamon de Valera led a Government into power, which is a coincidence as Fianna Fáil political blood ran through his veins. The Cumann na nGaedheal Government had been in power for a number of years, but in 1932 Fianna Fáil won the general election and a coalition Government was established. Bernard McGlinchey was born a few short months after the formation of the first Fianna Fáil Government of the State.
Bernard spent almost five decades as a member of Donegal County Council and Letterkenny Town Council, as well as 20 years as a member of Seanad Éireann. Bernard served in the ninth, tenth, 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th Seanaid between the years of 1961 and 1983. Bernard was elected to Letterkenny Town Council in 1955 at the young age of 23, and he went on to run for Donegal County Council in 1961, when he was elected. This showed that Bernard's contribution to both councils was significant, as the people re-elected him on each occasion.
As a businessman, he founded the Golden Grill nightclub in Letterkenny, but it was much more than that. It was a place where people came together and where politics was done. It was renowned in Donegal as being the Oireachtas of Donegal. During his business days, Bernard provided much-needed local employment in Letterkenny. Victor Fisher, who is a long serving member of Letterkenny Town Council, worked for Bernard McGlinchey down through the years, but cannot be here today. In those days the country was going through a period of transformation and the disco era was coming to the fore. Bernard was ahead of the curve in moving from the old dance hall entertainment venues into the new nightclub venues. He was a visionary entrepreneur as well as a visionary public servant. He was a member of the North-Western Health Board and he also served for a short period as a member of the Council of Europe.
He was a big and burly character, always smoking the pipe. In most photographs of Bernard, the pipe is always to the fore. His immense physical presence was matched with his oratorical power. Bernard was a very strong political figure, not only in Donegal, but indeed nationally during some of the most turbulent political days the State has endured. Bernard holds the record for the longest speech here in Seanad Éireann during the marts Bill. The record for the second longest speech is also held by Bernard McGlinchey, when he spoke for eight and a half hours on 18 May 1975 on the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill 1975. I wonder what the Leader would do if one of us tried to speak for that length of time.