Resignation of Taoiseach.

A Cheann Comhairle, tá orm a chur in iúl duit gur éirig mé as oifig mar Thaoiseach maidin inniu trína chur sin in iúl don Uachtarán de bhun an Bhunreachta.

As I have already said, Sir, I have this morning resigned from the office of Taoiseach by placing my resignation in the hands of the President, pursuant to the Constitution.

I should like on behalf of my colleagues in the Fine Gael Party and on my own behalf to wish Deputy Lemass health and happiness in his retirement, and to express the hope that he and Mrs. Lemass enjoy in tranquil serenity many years together, free from the cares and responsibilities of office. Though on different sides politically, my personal relations with Deputy Lemass have always been most cordial and I am pleased to have this opportunity of wishing him health and good fortune in his retirement. Ave atque vale.

On behalf of the Labour Party and myself, I should like also to place on the records of the House our appreciation of the work of Deputy Seán Lemass during his membership of this House for nearly 40 years. I think it right also for us to pay tribute to him not alone as a Taoiseach for the hard work in which he engaged but also as a Minister in various Governments. I should like, therefore, on behalf of the Labour Party and myself to wish him well in his retirement and to extend our best wishes also to his good wife. We trust that as a Member of this House he will continue to contribute in his forceful, vigorous and helpful way.

Hear, hear.

I should like to thank Deputy Cosgrave and Deputy Corish for their friendly and, indeed, generous words.