Prelude

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE (EOIN MACNEILL) took the Chair at 3.35 p.m.
The Late Mr. Joseph McGuinness, T.D.

A Chinn Comhairle, before you move on to the ordinary business of the House, I desire, on behalf of my colleagues and myself, and I am sure it is the wish of every member of this House, to move an expression of sympathy with the family and relatives of the late Mr. Joe McGuinness, a member of this House, the Deputy for Longford. It is not necessary for me to pay any tribute to our deceased colleague. We know the circumstances in which he first came into the position of being a public representative and we know how much those particular circumstances had to do with subsequent political events. We all know the work that Mr. Joe McGuinness did during those years and particularly, if I may say so, the work he did during these last few months. Because who ever spoke harshly of our former colleagues, or who ever thought bitter thoughts of them, or whether pleased or displeased at their actions, no one ever heard Joe McGuinness express an unkind thought about anybody, and nobody ever heard him attribute meaner motives to anybody else than the motives which actuated himself or which inspired himself. If I may say so, his death is something that I deeply feel. He was something more than a colleague and his loss is something more to me than the loss of a colleague, for I believe, among all the friends I ever made, I had no truer friend and there was certainly no one for whom I had a greater affection than I had for Joe McGuinness.

Ba mhaith liom aontú leis sin. I would like to be associated with this vote of sympathy on the part of this side of the Dáil. Some of us here, including yourself, A Chinn Comhairle, remember our late colleague through his prison experiences and we remember how overjoyed we were when we found that he had been chosen a public representative the first representative of the men in jail, as he was called at the time. It is not necessary to add anything to what has been said by the Minister for Finance, and I think you will find that the unanimous expression here in favour of that motion will be reciprocated throughout the country. Everyone who knew Joe McGuinness knew that he was a patriotic son of Ireland and knew that he was willing himself to endure everything necessary in order to ensure the independence of Ireland.

Cuirim an rún romhaibh agus ba mhaith liom mo ráite féin i dtaobh báis ár geomrádriú agus ár cathú a chur leis an méid atá ráite ach ní gá dhom é tar éis an méid a dubhradh.