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Tributes paid on passing of former Ceann Comhairle Seamus Pattison

Tributes have been paid to Former Ceann Comhairle Seamus Pattison, has died aged 81 following a long illness.

Mr Pattison served as a Labour TD for Carlow-Kilkenny for almost 50 years until he stepped down in 2007.

He served two Dáil terms as Ceann Comhairle, or Dail Chairman, and was for a long time "Father of the House", meaning its longest serving member.

The late Seamus Pattison, RIP.

He was also a Minister of State in the Department of Social Welfare and was Leas Ceann Comhairle. He also served as an MEP.

Mr Pattison is survived by his brothers Joseph, Michael and Monsigeur Francis Pattison in San Diego.

Reacting to Mr Pattison's passing Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD said the former Ceann Comhairle and Labour TD was a distinguished public representative who diligently represented the people of Carlow - Kilkenny for 46 years.

"He also served the country at a national level through his time as Minister of State for Social Welfare from 1983 to 1987. Séamus also represented Ireland at the European Parliament during his tenure as MEP from 1981 to 1983.

“Séamus will be widely remembered from his time as Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann from 1997 to 2002, and Leas Ceann Comhairle from 2002 until his retirement from politics in 2007. He was a gentleman who commanded the respect of all sides of the house. He was fair and impartial and ensured that all TD’s got a fair hearing when he sat in the chair.

“As Father of the Dáil he was always on hand to offer advice and support to TD’s and Senators when needed. I remember many conversations that I had with him down through the years, and one thing which always struck me was his strong sense of social duty. He was a passionate man who espoused the values of the Labour movement throughout his long career.

“On my own behalf and on behalf of the entire Fianna Fáil family I would like to offer my condolences to his family.

“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also paid tribute.

He said: "Seamus was a well respected Ceann Comhairle, and as a Minister, TD and MEP he represented his constituents in Carlow and Kilkenny for nearly five decades with distinction. I send my condolences to his family at this sad time.”

Labour Leader Brendan Howlin says he was a stalwart in the Parliamentary Labour Party that he joined as a young man.

He says Mr. Pattison was generous both with his time and his advice.

Daniel McConnell & Digital Desk