: Members of the Oireachtas learned with profound regret of the death on 13 July of the Ceann Comhairle, Deputy Joe Brennan. Deputy Joe Brennan brought to the high office of Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann a long practical experience of parliamentary and political work, together with a kind and genial personality, a ready wit and an unfailing sense of humour. His wide circle of friends in both Houses of the Oireachtas is a tribute to his great humanity, his understanding and his generous spirit.
The task of Ceann Comhairle is never an easy one. It calls for patience and skill and for a thorough knowledge and understanding of parliamentary practice and procedures. All of these qualities Deputy Joe Brennan had in the highest degree and his wish to uphold the dignity and traditions of the House and to be fair and courteous to every Member was appreciated by all. A Member of this House for 29 years, he served with distinction in a number of different offices—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance, Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach and to the Minister for Defence, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, Minister for Social Welfare and Minister for Labour.
Deputy Joe Brennan was a family man, a man of great kindness and deep compassion, a man whose first concern was to help his fellow man and to give guidance and assistance to those most in need. While this House has suffered a grevious loss through the death of such a highly respected and greatly esteemed Ceann Comhairle, the loss suffered by his own people in County Donegal is greater still. No public representative has ever served his constituents with a greater sense of dedication or with a more selfless spirit of public service. It is as such, I am sure, that Deputy Joe Brennan will always be remembered by the people of Donegal.
Ní fhéadfaí omós a thabhairt do Seosamh Ó Braonáin gan an tsuim mhór a bhí aige i nithe Gaelacha a lua, go háirithe sa teanga féin. Ba Ghael go smior é. Beidh sé inár gcuimhne.
I would ask Deputies to join with me in a tribute to a great Irishman and an eminent and distinguished Member of this House. I would ask you, a Cheann Comhairle, to convey to the late Ceann Comhairle's widow and family whose loss is greatest of all the deepest sympathy of the Members of Dáil Éireann.
Go dtuga Dia na glóire gach sólás dóibh in a mbrón agus in a mbris agus suaimhneas síorraí d'anam an uasail dílis atá imithe uainn.