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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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Senator Diarmuid Wilson

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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy
Snippet Contents:

I am glad to have the opportunity to say a few brief words in memory of the late iar Sheanadóir Bernard McGlinchey and in doing so, to express my personal sympathy to his wife, Liz, and his family, and to his partner and friend for many years, Ms Kathleen Sweeney.
Unlike Senator MacSharry, I did not know the late Senator McGlinchey well. I had heard of him through Fianna Fáil folklore but I only got to meet and know him when I became a member of the General Council of County Councils in 1999. I struck up a great relationship with him from that time onwards. In fact, he was instrumental in me deciding to run for the Seanad and advised me well, and helped me campaign in my first election in 2002.
As colleagues have said, he was a Member of this House for 20 years, from 1961 until 1982, and a public representative at local level in his native Donegal for almost five decades. He was a proud Donegal man and a proud Irishman but he was, in particular, extremely proud of his native town of Letterkenny where he established a successful business. Indeed, the town of Letterkenny is littered with monuments, such as the general hospital, the Department of Social Protection offices and the institute of technology, to the memory, work and dedication to the town of the late Bernard McGlinchey. As colleagues pointed out, the public park in Letterkenny, for which he was instrumental in obtaining the land, was named the Bernard McGlinchey Town Park after him. It is a unique honour that his colleagues, from all parts of the political divide and none, decided to name that park in his memory while he was still living. Indeed, he told me it is a park he used stroll around from time to time and sit down in to have a quite smoke.
The 12 hour debate has been alluded to by the Leader and other colleagues. Senator Ó Murchú wondered how he managed without food and water for those 12 hours. The food and water, knowing the late Bernard McGlinchey as I knew him, would not have mattered to him, but it was quite obvious that one was able to smoke in the Chamber in those days because he could not have gone for 12 hours without having a puff out of his pipe. I would be interested in checking if smoking was allowed in the Chamber at that time. I suggest it definitely was.
The late Bernard, as has been stated by previous speakers, was not only a proud Donegal man and Irishman, but a proud member of the Fianna Fáil Party and was very friendly with and supporter of the late former Taoiseach, Mr. Charles Haughey, down through the decades through thick and thin. Mr. Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher MEP, in a contribution on economic affairs in this House some time shortly after the death of Bernard, summed the man up well when he stated: Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.