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Death of Former Taoiseach: Expressions of Sympathy (Continued)

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 959 No. 8

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett] It is fair to say that my aunt, Janet Kinsella, or Janet Boyd Barrett, who is now deceased, would have been a prominent activist in the Dún Laoghaire Fine Gael branch-----

A Deputy: Scandal, scandal.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett Political debate around the dinner table with another uncle who was involved in Fianna Fáil-----

Deputy Brendan Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin No wonder the Deputy ended up as he is.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett -----and another uncle was involved in the Labour Party in Dalkey-----

(Interruptions).

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett These names were all familiar - the Cosgrave name, Jack Lynch and so on. There was intense political discussion and perhaps some of that rubbed off on me-----

Deputy Bobby Aylward: Information on Bobby Aylward Zoom on Bobby Aylward Not the way we would expect.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett -----although I am sure it was in a way that none of them would have particularly approved of. Anybody who lives in Dún Laoghaire has a passionate love for the area, which I believe Liam Cosgrave shared. Notwithstanding our very strong political differences on other things, anybody who has had the privilege to represent Dún Laoghaire would share that.

I would not adhere to what I see as the very conservative, Catholic political and social viewpoint of Liam Cosgrave. I am at the other end of the spectrum but, of the little I know about him, what I understood and what rubbed off on me was that, while he might have had a different political view, he had a great belief in public service and that is to be commended, notwithstanding the need for robust disagreement and debate from people at different ends of the political spectrum. There is no doubt that he played a major part in the history and development of this State and I would, therefore, like to pass on my sympathies and condolences to his family and friends.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath On behalf of the Rural Independent Group, I would like to extend our sympathies to Liam Cosgrave's family and the Fine Gael Party on his passing at such a great age. Liam Cosgrave was a man of deepest political integrity. He talked about a true Republic of opportunity long before it became the catchphrase it is today. Under his leadership, Ireland entered the United Nations General Assembly. He was, in that sense, someone who expanded Ireland's international role and prestige. He showed genuine political bravery and courage on the matter of Northern Ireland and in his work in bringing together the Sunningdale Agreement, which in turn created the conditions that allowed for the establishment of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the subsequent Northern Ireland peace process. His legacy is one of peace and we must protect and honour it at all times.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Cosgrave on several occasions. He was a man of great wit, humour, insight and vision. I met him as late as last July at a very pleasant function for the departing papal nuncio. He was in great form that evening and was helped by his daughter Mary. I extend my sympathies to his daughter, his son Liam who I know well, his son Ciarán and his extended family.

His passion for his country remained undimmed. He sought only its good until his last days. He will be fondly remembered and missed by many on all sides of this House. May he have his eternal reward that he has so richly earned. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall On my behalf and that of the Social Democrats, I want to express regret and sadness at the passing of Liam Cosgrave at the great age of 97 years. He had a distinguished career over a 40-year period, serving the people of Dún Laoghaire and serving the State as a Minister and as Taoiseach.


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