Dáil Éireann - Volume 443 - 16 June, 1994

Death of Former Member. - Expressions of Sympathy.

The Taoiseach: I wish to pay tribute to a former Member of the House. Déanaim fíor comhbhrón le clann agus gaolta iar-Theachta Dála Sheán Uí Cheallaigh a fuair bás sa bhaile inné i gContae an Chláir. Fear ab ea é a bhí i gconaí dícheallach agus a thug, riamh, gach a bhí aige. Trí Ghaeilge i gconaí a thug sé faoina chursaí sa Teach seo. Ní bheidh a leithéid inár measc arís.

We surely will not have another man like former Deputy Seán Ó Ceallaigh in our midst, a man who died at his home yesterday in County Clare. Earlier this week we were in contact with him to congratulate him on the appointment of his son, Fr. Fiachra Ó Ceallaigh, as auxiliary bishop of Dublin. His son Fiachra is the first Franciscan to become a bishop for nearly 170 years and I know Seán was very proud of him. Seán was a part of history. He was a Clare man born in the last century and a close friend of Eamon de Valera. He was a founder member of Fianna Fáil in County Clare and was runaí of the party there for more than 20 years. He succeeded Eamon de Valera in County Clare in 1959 and he continued to serve the people of his community and his constituency of Clare for a further ten years. He finally retired in 1969 and I know he has been a valued member of the community and a valuable source of history since then. Once again, I sympathise with his family, his relatives and friends and, in particular, his son Fiachra. Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam.

Mr. J. Bruton: I wish to join with the Taoiseach in paying tribute to the former Deputy Ó Ceallaigh. He was a Member of the House for a number of years and [1982] served his constituents of Clare with dedication. He had a particular love of the Irish language and saw in it an expression of Irish nationality, in which he had a deep belief. I wish to express the sympathy of the Fine Gael Party to Fianna Fáil on its loss, particularly to the Fianna Fáil Party in County Clare who I know will feel the loss deeply. It was a considerable honour for Deputy Ó Ceallaigh to be chosen by his party to fill the shoes of the late President Eamon de Valera as Deputy for that constituency. He was a man of no mean achievement and no mean principle chosen to fill those very large shoes.

I know he had a profession outside politics. He was a teacher and had a deep interest in education. I agree with what the Taoiseach said about the way he continued to serve his country, his neighbours and friends to the end of his life. I express also the pleasure of our party that he lived to see the great honour bestowed on his son in recent times. I express on behalf of his political rivals in Clare the sympathy of the Fine Gael Party with the Ó Ceallaigh family on their serious loss.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): Ba mhaith liom comhbhrón a dhéanamh le clann iar-Theachta Sheán Uí Cheallaigh thar ceann dream an Lucht Oibre.

On behalf of the Labour Party, I wish to convey our sympathy to the Ó Ceallaigh family and the Fianna Fáil Party on the loss of a father and a colleague. As the Taoiseach and Deputy Bruton have said, I am sure this man had happiness late in life with the appointment of his son as an auxiliary Bishop of Dublin. He served County Clare, his party, his country and continued after his retirement from this House to serve the people of County Clare in many ways. I express to his family and to the members of the Fianna Fáil Party particularly in County Clare, our sympathy on their loss of a man who served his party, county and country in an outstanding fashion.

Miss Harney: I too would like to join with the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and [1983] Deputy Bruton in extending my sympathy to the family of the former Deputy Ó Ceallagh and also to the Fianna Fáil Party in County Clare. I did not know him personally but last night I spoke to my colleague, Deputy Molloy who, like others, served in this House with Deputy Ó Ceallagh in his latter years. He was a committed Gaeilgeoir and a close friend and associate of the late Eamon de Valera. I would like to extend my sympathy and that of my party to his family and the Fianna Fáil Party.

Proinsias De Rossa: Ní raibh aithne agam ar Sheán Ó Ceallaigh ach is léir ón méid atá ráite faoi anseo inniu gur fear onórach a bhí ann agus fear a dhein gach dícheall ar son a thoghdóirí agus ar son a pháirtí. Ar an mbonn sin ba maith liom mo chomhbhrón féin agus comhbhrón mo pháirtí a ghabháil dá chlann agus dá chairde.

Mr. T. Foxe: The Independents in the House would like to be associated with the messages of sympathy to the family of the late Deputy Ó Ceallaigh. Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam.

Mr. Carey: As a Clare Deputy I would like to join in the expressions of sympathy to the Ó Ceallaigh family. I knew the late Seán Ó Ceallaigh very well. While he was always steadfast in supporting his point of view, he always had time for mine. My late father had a great fondness for the Irish language also. I join in the tributes to Fr. Fiachra Ó Ceallaigh who is the first Franciscan to become a bishop in more than 100 years. Following my recent road accident he was the first person to visit me in hospital. He is a gentle soul.

Mr. Killeen: Ba mhaith liom cuidiú leis an méid atá ráite ag an Taoiseach agus ag an Tánaiste agus ag cainteoirí eile faoin iar-Theachta, Seán Ó Ceallaigh. Bhí sár-aithne agam air. Ba mhinic a chuaigh mé isteach chuige: labhair sé Gaeilge i gconaí liomsa. Ba mhaith liom comhbhrón a dhéanamh lena chlann.

[1984] Members rose in their places.