On behalf of the Technical Group, I would like to join in saying farewell with great affection to Tom McGrath. It has always been one of my greatest nightmares that either Tom McGrath, or Denis, who was the manager of the bar, would write memoirs. I do not think any Member of the House would wish that to be done with any degree of sincerity or truth and I hope he does not do that.
Having said that, I would like to pay enormous tribute to Tom McGrath, whom I have known for, I suppose, 30 years, like the Taoiseach and other Members of this House. It has always struck me that the dignity with which the ushers, and Tom in particular, have carried out their duty has been something of an example which we might follow, but which would not do us any good in our political careers. They carry a quality which we do not have, which is a kind of professional anonymity which has served this House extraordinarily well, but for which they do not get the sort of recognition politicians get. I would like to say that I believe there is a unanimous respect for the work the ushers, like Tom McGrath, have done over that period. We do not often get an opportunity to thank them for doing that, and I would like to do it on behalf of the Technical Group here today.
I agree with so much that has been said by other Members about the pride that he took in his job. I too would like to echo what has been said about the extraordinary dedication which he and many of the others have shown in taking tours around Leinster House. They are responsible not just for the fantastic condition of this House but, by sending the message out about this House and about the great traditions, the pride, the rules and the enormous history this House has, by taking those tours around and by facilitating members of the public in bringing them to the Visitors Gallery, they send out a different message about this House from the one we sometimes do. That is a very important role which they have to play.
I would like to reiterate what has been said. I wish Tom McGrath a very happy and very long retirement and I want to thank him very much indeed on behalf of the Technical Group.