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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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Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath On behalf of the Dáil Technical Group and Independent Deputies, let me say that the death of Mr. John Carty was a terrible loss, particularly to his family but also around the Dáil, and to his friends and his constituents in Mayo. For his wife, Kathleen, his daughters, Lisa and Ciara, his sons James, Cathal, John Henry, Eamonn, Caoimhín and Iarla, and siblings, Michael, Joan and Anne, it was such a sad blow to lose such a wonderful and loving husband, father and brother. Although John was involved in public life, his family have to come first. That sense of loss and sadness is very difficult for all of them. It is worth knowing that we are, across the political spectrum in the Dáil, thinking of them because we all liked John. That is a constant message that his family will hear today.

Deputy Martin said at the time of Mr. Carty's death that he was one of life's true gentlemen, and that is the way everybody in this House felt about John Carty. He was one of life's true gentlemen. I totally agree with the sentiment as he was admired, loved and respected around this House. It is important for his family to know that, as he would have been so busy running around the constituency and this Dáil. He was liked, loved and respected by all colleagues in this House. John was a man of great compassion who fought hard for his Mayo community. He was a diligent public representative. He died so young, as he had a lot more to give in this life.

Mr. Carty served on Mayo County Council between 1999 and 2002, and I was a member of Dublin City Council in 1999. He was elected to the Dáil in 2002, when I was first elected to this House. He later served in the Seanad. Around this House, I liked John's warmth, his sense of humour and his great generosity. He was particularly loyal to agriculture and small business communities, especially in Mayo and the west. He was their voice in the Dáil but he was always open to other issues as well that were pushed by other Deputies in the House. He was great fun and he used to have great craic winding up many Independent Deputies. We would get a great laugh from that. We loved it and John enjoyed it as well.

He will be missed deeply. To Kathleen and the Carty family, on behalf of Independent Deputies in the Dáil Technical Group I convey our sincerest sympathy and best wishes. I hope they will learn to deal with the terrible and sad loss of John.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath I am delighted to welcome the Carty family here today. I was a friend of John's and I knew him from working here, especially on the agriculture committee. As has been noted by many, he had a sharp wit, keen intellect and interest in and enthusiasm for agricultural matters and the committee. I could recount some very joyous occasions we had when we went to Agriculture House to meet the then Tánaiste and Minister responsible for agriculture, former Deputy Mary Coughlan, as well as a later Minister, Deputy Brendan Smith. When there were serious issues on the table, John always provided a sharp jibe and entertained us all, although the occasions might have been fraught because we were anxious about issues in our constituencies.

John was a true Irishman, dedicated to his family and his constituency. I took a further interest as both John's daughter, Ciara, and my own daughter met at a football game. John got a pairing arrangement so he could attend it in the midlands but I failed to do so. He came back the following day with a glint in his eye as his daughter's team also got the trophy. Well done to them. He was a family man with an interest in all his family members and how they progressed. He is a major loss to the family, in the first instance, and to his constituents. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Deputy Dara Calleary: Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary The last occasion I remember John being present in this House was in June 2013, when we paid tribute to his great friend, confidant and neighbour, P.J. Morley. It is still hard to believe, nearly a year to the day from his death, that John has left us. Today we welcome Kathleen, Lisa, Ciara, James, Cathal, John Henry, Eamonn, Caoimhín and Iarla, as well as the extended Carty, Regan and Byrne families. We also have some of his colleagues, as I see former Deputies John Ellis, Johnny Brady and Eamon Scanlon, as well as many of his friends.

John had many traits, including decency, integrity and public service. He was very republican-minded and independent. He learned those traits right across this country as an agricultural officer and brought them to the halls of this building both as a Deputy and a Senator. He had a fantastic sense of humour and a sense of unbelievable mischief. There was no better man to hop a ball and leave while the ball left disruption after it. Above all, he had 100% commitment to every job and task he took on. From his election to Mayo County Council in 1999 to his retirement from Seanad Éireann in 2011, he has left an impressive record of delivery across the county. There are dozens of schools, community and sporting facilities, water and road schemes that owe their existence to John Carty and his work. They were all delivered without fanfare or fuss. There are thousands of families across the county who sought John's intervention on personal matters and got that in a quiet, determined and focused fashion.

John was one of the first of Monsignor James Horan's airport disciples and he was there at the beginning of that dream. He travelled the highways and byways of this country seeking support for that dream and it is especially fitting that through John Carty's perseverance, hard work and commitment, he was able to secure €26 million for the airport, meaning it can be on the footing it has today.

Politics was not everything for John, which should be a lesson for all of us. He had a rich and varied life outside this House and a lifelong interest in history, especially family history. He could tell anybody about his relations going back through generations. His expertise in the area was captured on the morning of his funeral by Fr. Richard Gibbons, the parish priest at Knock, who mused at Mass that morning that John was probably at that time telling our Lord that his people were not originally from Nazareth but went behind that.

He was most proud of his family. We revelled in the tales he shared of his family's various and varied adventures and he was proud of each and every family member. He always said that Kathleen was the rock on which he was able to serve politics in anything he did and on which his fantastic family was built. He was happiest when he was in Carrowmore with all his family and friends around him. We miss him as a colleague and friend and we cannot begin to imagine how his family misses him. One never left him without feeling better. He occasionally would burst into song and one of his favourite lines was from "Oklahoma!" and he would say "there's a bright golden haze on the meadow". Wherever John Carty is today, there is a very bright golden haze. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring I welcome the Carty family. It is a sad day and a proud day. It is a sad day for the family because they have lost a husband and a father, somebody who was very loyal to the family. As Deputy Calleary has said, the family were also very loyal to him. He loved his family, county and Fianna Fáil.

I served with John on Mayo County Council for many years and I also served with him here in the Dáil. If I could describe him in a few words, it would be as a thorough gentleman. He was a good colleague and friend, and he was somebody with a bit of decency in him. One could depend on him and if somebody entered an agreement with John Carty, that agreement was held. He would not go behind anybody's back. I enjoyed his company and, as previous speakers have noted, he loved the county and Knock, particularly the airport. I am sure that today he and Monsignor Horan are up there. John would have a family tree and I would tell him to put it away as he would find more Fianna Fáil people to vote for him. He was just great.

John never got annoyed or really got aggravated. He could work with the Ministers and Government of the day. He certainly delivered for County Mayo. Sometimes the media might forget the love which a family has for a father who may be a national politician who is working hard and doing the best he can for his family, county and country.


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