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Deaths of Former Members: Expressions of Sympathy (Continued)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 865 No. 2

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  1 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin] Over five years, he fought the corner for his county. His background in agriculture helped to shape his work. As a younger man he crisscrossed the island as an agriculture officer and brought this wealth of experience to bear in the Oireachtas. He worked assiduously all the while for his electorate. Among his proudest achievements was the continued investment in Knock Airport. Following in the footsteps of his old friend, the late P.J. Morley, he defended and fought for the airport as the west's link to the world. In his own words, "The jewel in the crown in Mayo is Knock Airport." His work there will always be remembered with every flight to and from the fields of Barnacuige.

Here in this House he will be remembered with great affection. He had a quick wit and was a lively and enjoyable storyteller who always had a glint in his eye when we were talking about another colleague. He always had time for a chat and was a solid and welcome companion to all Members. He continued that tradition in the Upper House after 2007. His career encompassed countless cups of tea, and maybe something else now and again, endless conversations and long cumann meetings into the dark of night, all heartfelt and genuine.

His work and effort will endure. The empathy of the man, his deep grá for where he came from and a connection deep in his marrow are things we should never lose in Irish politics. He was a true gentleman who brought an abiding sense of humanity to our politics. Mayo has lost a loyal and faithful servant, and his family a beloved husband, brother and father. I trust they can take comfort in a life of service and commitment to something greater. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny As Taoiseach I would like to convey my sincere condolences and sympathy to the family of the late former Deputy and Senator, John Carty. He was a good friend of mine who passed away last January. He was a family man, and along with Kathleen, and despite the demands of political life he always made time for his priority which was his family and his eight children, James, Lisa, Cathal, John Henry, Eamonn, Caoimhín, Iarla and Ciara.

John was always a popular personality and public representative in his famous home of Knock, the larger town of Claremorris and across County Mayo. In public life as a councillor, Deputy and Senator he served the people of his county and his locality with conviction, commitment and dedication. He never turned anybody away from his door and always listened to the stories and cases brought before him, irrespective of from where they came. His brother Michael followed him into politics and served on Mayo County Council.

John Carty was a dedicated public servant. He had his priorities right. He got to know farmers and the farming community as an official of the Department of Agriculture for many years. He had a great passion for the agrisector. Through his work in Seanad Éireann, in particular, he made an enormous contribution to the agriculture panel. He liked to speak about a subject he knew so well. In that regard, he gained great respect from all in the agriculture sector.

I commiserate with Deputy Martin's party on the loss to Fianna Fáil. It has a proud tradition of public service, including that of John Carty. While we may not be of the same party, we recognise a common willingness to serve the public is at the core of all politics, and he exemplified that during his time here. On many occasions when I spoke to him in the environs of this House he commented, as Deputy Martin pointed out, on the circumstances which applied within the party, other personalities or aspiring personalities, and his view, in no uncertain language, on them.

He was well known and well respected as the promoter and owner of a long-standing business in Knock. I was very glad and privileged that I had the opportunity to attend the removal in his house after his death. It is all to easy to use an old cliché, but John Carty was one of nature's gentlemen. He is missed by all those who knew him. I can see his face and hear his voice. I remember his ways of making the case for something that was of interest to him. We all miss him.

I can quite truthfully say to Kathleen and his family that he was a man who had his priorities right, namely, family first and everybody else after that. Aontaím leis an Teachta. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. Cara mór dom féin a bhí ann le blianta fada.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a dhéanamh le clann John Carty atá anseo linn inniu. Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón a dhéanamh le Fianna Fáil fosta agus le muintir Mhaigh Eo. Ní raibh aithne agam ar John, ach bhí aithne mhaith ag an Teachta Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin air. Dúirt seisean liomsa gur fear ciúin a bhí ann, fear a raibh meas aige ar dhaoine agus grá mór aige do mhuintir agus do Chontae Mhaigh Eo.

I did not know John personally, but Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin did and tells me that he was a quiet, unassuming and good-natured Member of the Oireachtas and was very respectful to everyone else in the Oireachtas. I listened very intently to what the leader of Fianna Fáil said. His family should be very proud to hear such a ringing endorsement of John's service to the people and the Fianna Fáil Party. Many times the families of people in public life have to take a back seat. He served Mayo as a councillor, Deputy and Senator on the agriculture panel. The Taoiseach has elaborated on how he dealt with farming issues and was an advocate for people in rural Ireland.

Mayo is a wonderful county and is so much part of what we are as a people. It has suffered grievously over a long time. John's connection with Knock Airport will be a major tribute to the work he did on behalf of the people of Mayo. He was only 63 years of age. I remember when all of us thought that was old, but it is relatively young. Of all the people who in here, in Fianna Fáil, Claremorris or Mayo who miss him, those who will miss him most are his family. There is a hole in their lives they will have to work around.

They should be very proud of their father and husband. Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath I wish to share time with Deputy Mattie McGrath.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Is that agreed? Agreed.

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