For its information, I advice the House that our superintendent, Ms Teresa Dolan, has tendered her resignation and has left the service to move to the Department of Justice. On behalf of Members, I wish her well and thank her for the outstanding, diligent and committed work she did while she was here. She is a person of the utmost integrity, ability and dedication. We wish her well in the future. It is significant that in the 100 years of the House, she was the first female superintendent. Mr. Noel Murphy is going to take on the responsibilities as superintendent. He is well-known to us all and very well liked. He is highly respected within the parliamentary community, not least for the outstanding work he has been doing for many years in the committees section, including for the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and the North-South Inter-Parliamentary Association. We wish him well in the duties he is undertaking.
The position of captain will be occupied until further notice by Mr. Liam O'Brien, formerly of the communications unit. He has spent two years working in the superintendent's unit. We are grateful both to them and to our retiring colleagues who are moving on for the roles and responsibilities they have fulfilled and will fulfil, and for their assistance. We wish them well.
I know colleagues are aware of the sad passing of Mr. Michael O'Kennedy who was a Member of this House. He passed away on Friday, 15 April. He was a native of Tipperary and a Nenagh boy at heart. He excelled as a student, winning prodigious scholarships before qualifying as a barrister. He joined Fianna Fáil in 1957 and won a seat in Seanad Éireann in 1965. During his term, he was chosen as a member of the Committee on the Constitution, a special all-party review group on the Constitution. Following his first term in Seanad Éireann, Michael won a seat in Dáil Éireann in 1969 where he would go on to represent his beloved Tipperary for more than 30 years. He held six different ministerial posts and was hailed for his work in diverse areas, including foreign affairs and economic planning. Michael campaigned for Ireland's membership of the European Union and held a strong belief in a confident and outward-looking Ireland that embraced the ideas of European co-operation. He served as a European Commissioner in the early 1980s. Michael has left an extraordinary legacy, spanning almost 40 years of political service. At this sad time, our thoughts are with his family and on behalf of the House, I convey my sincere sympathies to his wife, Breda, and his children, Brian, Orla and Mary. We also extend our sympathies to his extended family and friends for their sad loss. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam.