Death of Former Member: Expression of Sympathy.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I call on the Leader of the House to formally move a vote of sympathy on the death of Patrick Lindsay, former Member and former Leas-Chathaoirleach of this House. I will also call on one Member from each group to speak on this matter in accordance with procedure.

I pay tribute to the late Patrick Lindsay. He was a highly respected Member of both Houses of the Oireachtas. He was a former Leas-Chathaoirleach of this House, an eminent Senior Counsel and Master of the High Court. He was a colourful parliamentarian who graced both Houses of the Oireachtas in a forceful and witty way. On behalf of the House and my party I offer sympathy to his family. May he rest in peace.

I join in the vote of sympathy to the family of the late Pat Lindsay. He was a great personal and political friend of mine.

Having been a Member of both Houses, Leas-Chathaoirleach of this House and the first Minister of the Gaeltacht, he leaves behind him many achievements in Irish politics. He was part of the Irish political system from the time he first contested a Dáil seat in 1937 and he contested virtually every Dáil election from then until the late 1960s. It was more than simply his membership of both Houses of the Oireachtas that made Pat Lindsay special. As the Leader of the House mentioned, he had a great style, a style which is all too rare in politics today. He was a great orator and debater, as good in the give-and-take of political debate as he was at mass meetings.

As a Member of this House Pat Lindsay served as Leas-Chathaoirleach for a number of years. He often remarked that the tedium of the speeches was relieved only by the ornate beauty of the ceiling, every part of which he had obsorbed as certain Senators droned on. During his period here he formed great friendships across all parts of the House.

If there was one thing that stands out in Pat Lindsay's political and legal careers it was his great love for the small person. As a lawyer and politician he always espoused lost causes, fighting against the large institutions, be they the banks, the insurance companies, the Revenue Commissioners and so on.

Pat Lindsay was a great lover of life. He loved politics and he loved to come back to this House. His friendships among all parties and his willingness and ability to exchange stories had become a feature of life in this House over the past number of years. Party barriers meant little to him, even though in his loyalty to his own party he was fierce and partisan.

I was honoured that his last semi-public appearance was at a small celebration in my house a few weeks ago. Even though he knew his days were coming to an end he insisted, in characteristic pose with a glass of Black Bush in one hand and cigar in the other, in making a fighting and memorable speech.

It is with a full heart that I pay tribute to Pat Lindsay. We shall not see his like in either House of the Oireachtas again. His presence in Irish political life will be colourfully and warmly remembered.

On behalf of the Labour Party I join in the tributes to the late Patrick Lindsay and in our sympathy to his family. He was a former Member of both Houses of the Oireachtas, he was dedicated to public life. As Senator Manning said, his speeches here and in the other House were lively and informed. He will be remembered for his commitment to justice whether in law, politics or in society itself.

The Independent Group wish to be associated with this vote of sympathy to the late Patrick Lindsay's family,

I did not have the privilege of serving with him in this House, although I know many people who did and they have spoken very highly of him. I was aware of him, as were my Independent colleagues, as a colourful, flamboyant character. He was not only a great orator with a skilful legal intellect but was also one of Ireland's great raconteurs in the honourable tradition of the Irish Bar going back to the 18th century. Senator Manning is correct in remarking that we are unlikely, regrettably, to look upon his like again.

We wish to be associated with the vote of sympathy to his family. We are also profoundly grateful that he chose to serve for part of his political career in this House where he distinguished himself in a number of debates.

On behalf of the Progressive Democrats I would like to join with you, a Leas-Chathaoirligh, and the other Members of the House in recording our sympathy to Patrick Lindsay's family, his colleagues in the legal profession, the members of his party and to his many friends. Although I did not serve in the House with him, I had the privilege of meeting him and found him to be a colourful, larger-than-life figure. I wonder what it is within us that we do not produce characters of his stature any more? He was certainly a character of major stature. His memoirs were colourful and enriching to read, and his passing will be sadly mourned. May he rest in peace.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I, too, would like to join with the leaders of the groups in expressing our sympathy with the Lindsay family. He was indeed a fine gentleman and, as many speakers have mentioned, a colourful character. The House will now stand in silent tribute for one minute.

Members rose in their places.