Seanad Éireann - Volume 116 - 02 July, 1987
Death of Former Member: Expression of Sympathy.
An Cathaoirleach An Cathaoirleach
An Cathaoirleach: I understand that before we take the Order of Business Senator Ferris wishes to speak.
Mr. Ferris Mr. Ferris
Mr. Ferris: I thank the Chair for allowing me to propose a vote of sympathy to the relatives of the late Denis Larkin, who died this morning. Many Members of this House and of the Dáil will remember Denis Larkin with affection. He was a frequent visitor from the time he surrendered his seat. He came from a family who gave a lifetime of service to the labour and trade union movements. The late Mr. Larkin was a Member of the 15th, 16th and 18th Dálaí. He was also a member of Dublin Corporation for some 30 years, and was Lord Mayor of his own city on a couple of occasions. He was involved in the trade union movement as an executive member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. His family, and especially his father, the late Big Jim Larkin, gave a lifetime of service to the nation. As we are the only House of the Oireachtas still sitting, I thought it appropriate that we should avail of the opportunity to extend to his family our deepest sympathy. His name, like his father's will be remembered forever in the annals of this country.
Mr. Lanigan Mr. Lanigan
 Mr. Lanigan: I, too, would like to join with Senator Ferris in extending the sympathy of this side of the House to the relatives of the late Denis Larkin. As Senator Ferris said, the name of Larkin will always be remembered by the Irish people. His work on behalf of the working classes was unstinting. He followed in the tradition of his father who set the tone of what the relationship should be between workers and the rest of society. The name of Larkin is one that should be remembered. Denis did not achieve the same high place in history as his father, nevertheless he played a major part in the continuation of the work started by his father. He gave unstintingly of his time, not alone in the Houses of the Oireachtas but on local bodies such as Dublin Corporation. His work in the Council of Trade Unions and in his own union will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Mr. Manning Mr. Manning
Mr. Manning: On behalf of the Fine Gael group I, too, would like to join in this vote of sympathy. Denis Larkin represented, both in name and in deed, a great tradition in Irish politics. He was a good Dubliner, a good Irishman, and he made a very real contribution. He was very well known to many of us in the Oireachtas and his passing will be sadly mourned.
Mr. B. Ryan Mr. B. Ryan
Mr. B. Ryan: Somebody's death is always a sad occasion, but when it is somebody with such a famous name, there is a feeling that an era in our history has ended. I barely knew Denis Larkin — I met him at a few ICTU conferences and places like that but nobody in this country could not but know the name of Larkin. He was part of a family who were part of a struggle that has hardly started, and is far from complete. He and his family laid the foundations for a future for this country that perhaps not all the Members of this House would subscribe to, but they had a vision about how we should live together. Whatever the political views of individuals, the values he subscribed to would be universally acceptable. He was a man who built a movement, worked for a movement and  who, all through his life, even when he was ostensibly retired, was still part of that movement. His life centred around the trade union and labour movement. He is a great loss. There is a sense of a breach of continuity, of a movement in history when we move from one generation to another, when the connection between the family who built and developed the trade union movement and who helped to organise the working classes is at an end. The principles that motivated that family are still very strong. On behalf of the Independent Members of the House, I wish to join in proposing this vote of sympathy to the relatives of the late Denis Larkin.
Members rose in their places.
Seanad Éireann 116 Death of Former Member: Expression of Sympathy.