We now proceed to expressions of sympathy on the death of the former Fine Gael Member, Donal Creed, father of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Michael Creed. Before calling on Members to offer their tributes to our distinguished former colleague, I welcome his family to the Distinguished Visitors Gallery. I welcome Donal's wife, Madeleine; our good friend and colleague, Michael; Donal's daughters, Michelle, Madeleine, Suzanne and Louise; and his grandchildren and extended family members who are here. They are all very welcome to Leinster House this afternoon. We know that this is a poignant day for them, tinged with bittersweet memories, as they join us in the Dáil Chamber where Donal spent so many years serving his country and the people of his beloved Cork. As we gather to reflect on Donal's life and political legacy, I hope that the memories shared here in the Chamber will serve to support his family in some small way. We also pause to remember Donal's daughter, Claire, who passed away a short time before his own death in late 2017.
I did not know Donal personally, but this proud son of Macroom had an electoral record which we experts in this Chamber can only admire. Serving from 1965 to 1989 was a fine achievement, particularly when constituency reconfigurations created the three-seat constituency of Cork North-West in 1981. As a Deputy from another competitive three-seater, I salute Donal's enviable achievement. He served with distinction at many different levels, including local, national and European, and in a number of Ministries of State, as well as in senior positions within the Fine Gael Party. It must have been a source of great pride for him to see his son, Michael, promoted to the key portfolio of agriculture. In his 24 years in this Chamber, Donal Creed assisted many people who were experiencing difficulties locally and nationally. As a hard-working Deputy, he reassured many people and made life better for many of them. He did this out of a strong sense of public duty. This public service was clearly supported by a loving family and an enviable political network in Cork North-West.
Today in this Chamber, we salute his contribution to our national Parliament and his family should take comfort in the practical application of honourable patriotism shown by Donal Creed.