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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy (Continued)

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 979 No. 6

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  1 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae] The Whiddy Island disaster occurred when he was chairman of Cork County Council. It took a safe pair of political of hands to handle that sensitive situation and that awful tragedy and its aftermath. He was remarkably intelligent and astute in the way he carried out the role of chairman of the council. There were major demands on him at that time and he had to deal with that awful tragedy. He did so in the very experienced political way that only he could do. It is nice to remember things like that.

On behalf of the Rural Independent Group, I acknowledge his political legacy. He was a person who started out with nothing and progressed to being a good county councillor, Deputy, MEP and Minister of State. He was able to leave political office after giving such broad service. I would place as much significance on being a good county councillor as being a good Minister of State. His son has finished up as a senior Minister sitting at the Cabinet table. From where he is resting today, he can rest sure in the knowledge that he and his wife Madeleine and their family made an extraordinary contribution to Irish life and Irish politics. That contribution will never be forgotten and no one can ever take that from any of them. I think that is a nice thing. There are 25 grandchildren, and perhaps there will be many more in the years ahead. They will always remember their granddad and everything he did in a nice and fond way. That is nice to acknowledge, and everyone in the House will acknowledge it.

Deputy Michael Moynihan: Information on Michael Moynihan Zoom on Michael Moynihan I join previous speakers in acknowledging Donal Creed and paying tribute to his political career and his political achievements over a varied career at local, national and European levels as well as serving as a Minister of State. His lasting legacy politically is the national lottery.

When he was Minister of State at the Department of Education during the mid-1980s he was instrumental in advancing scholarships for people involved in sports. These scholarships operated in the US, in particular, and were for basketball, golf and other sports. He did pioneering work at the time and it has stood the test of time in the sense of people benefitting from it.

While on paper we were political foes, Donal encompassed and gave what was best about Irish politics. Donal Creed tried every day that he was in politics to advance the case of the people of Cork Mid or Cork North-West to ensure they were better off from his public representation.

While I never served with Donal Creed, I remember a meeting in May 1997 as I was embarking on a canvass of Ballydaly. I met Donal as we set off for Caherbarnagh. He said he would go the low road and suggested I go the higher road. That ended up in a different way for me because I married someone from the high road later on in life. I remember what he said to me at the foot of the Caherbarnagh Mountain that day. We were talking about politics and he gave me every encouragement. While Donal told me it was a difficult life and spoke of the drawbacks of it, he also said to me that there was great achievement in helping our fellow man. That was exactly the phrase Donal Creed used that day. I think that is what he wanted to achieve. He wanted to benefit mankind and to help people. Everyone who knew Donal Creed would have stories to tell in that light.

His political astuteness, which was rare, has not fallen far from the tree with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Michael Creed, and the way he conducts his business. Like his father, he does not rush to the limelight but he is still very effective in it.

I sympathise with Donal's wife Madeleine and his daughters Marcella, Michelle, Madeleine, Suzanne and Louise. I wish to remember Nuala and Claire, who died only a few weeks before Donal. I would like to take this opportunity to thank his son, Michael, for his friendship in this House and for his kind words to me last April.

Deputy Aindrias Moynihan: Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan Ar an gcéad dul síos ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur roimh mhuintir Creed. Tá an-chuid ráite mar gheall ar an iar-Theachta Donal Creed agus cuirim go mór leis sin mar aithnimid go léir gur dianoibrí a bhí ann a bhí ag obair go dian dícheallach ar son mhuintir a dhúiche ar fad gach lá. Bhí ardmheas air i gcónaí sa cheantar agus lasmuigh agus bhí sé sin i gcónaí le feiceáil nuair a bhuail mé le daoine, bhí sé le feiceáil sna clinicí de réir dealraimh agus bhí sé le feiceáil sa vóta go bhfuair sé. Bhí sé i gcónaí ag obair go dian dícheallach sa chomhairle, sa Dáil, san Eoraip agus gan dabht mar Aire Stáit. Chuir sé go mór le muintir na háite agus leis an gceantar.

I acknowledge the significant role played by Donal Creed over many years in Cork Mid and Cork North-West. I pay tribute also to the significant role he played on Cork County Council over many years. Our families would have clashed at election time but would have worked throughout the same community over many years. While we would have appeared to have been political opponents, there would have always been the same push to make things happen locally. Donal really pushed the community forwards, and I always heard that when meeting his supporters or opponents. It would always be said that he was such a gentleman and a person to push things on for the wider Cork Mid and Cork North-West areas. It is something to be very proud of and something that will always be associated with him. This would have been in evidence in the clinics as well, where there would have been such a range of colours presenting. He would never have distinguished one way or the other. He saw it as his duty to serve whoever came his way and to make every effort.

I would have only occasionally met Donal. Typically, it would have occurred on the campaigns. The first time I came across him was during one of my earlier council campaigns. Mickey Tom and myself were finishing up canvassing on a sunny evening. We had done what we set out to do in terms of canvassing. As we were going down a driveway Donal was ahead of us. There would have been a relaxed atmosphere given the sun and so we stopped for a quick chat. The quick chat extended into something longer. Mickey Tom and I knew that we were holding him up and he knew he was holding us up from canvassing. I am pretty sure he was getting better value from it because he was holding up the candidate and stopping the canvass for the evening.

He was a real gentleman responsible for major achievements. Today people woke up to hear about a big lotto win and it is fitting that the person who was so instrumental in making the lotto a reality would be acknowledged today.

Ba mhaith liom cur le gach rud atá ráite cheana féin mar gheall ar an iar-Theachta Donal Creed agus ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire: Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Ba mhaith liom comhbhrón a dhéanamh le teaghlach an iar-Theachta Donal Creed. Thar tréimhse fada bhain sé éacht amach ar son mhuintir Corcaigh Lár agus Corcaigh Thiar-Thuaidh sna rólanna éagsúla a bhí aige.

I express my sympathies to the family of Donal Creed. Cork, like any other part of the country, has many families who have a long history in politics and people who are known as major public figures. We have the Desmonds, the Barrys and the Coveneys. One of the foremost names would be the Creeds. They have a history and lineage going back right to the foundation of the State. A large part of that was Donal's contribution.


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