Tribute by Dan Neville TD to late Peadar Clohessy TD

Tribute to the Late Peadar Clohessy TD – Dail Eireann – 6th May 2014

   Deputy Dan Neville: I welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to the late Peadar Clohessy and to sympathise with his family.  I knew Peadar well.  He was highly respected in Limerick.  I was elected to the council in 1985, by which time he had served 11 years.  I got to know him.  He was an incisive contributor and spoke when he had something to say.  Everyone listened when Peadar spoke.  He was highly respected by the officials, staff and members of Limerick County Council during my time there.  He was chair in 1992 and 1993 during its Fine Gael-Progressive Democrats coalition.  He carried out that role with total objectivity and fairness.  It was the highlight of his council career, as he loved the council and local politics.  He may have had more time for local politics than national politics – when discussing matters with him, he always reverted to issues of local politics.

He was elected to the Oireachtas in 1981 and I was elected in 1989.  After that, I got to know him extremely well.  He had a great affinity for and commitment to Limerick and his constituency’s people.  He also had a fantastic work ethic and output.  I remember with fondness some chats that four of us who met over a drink used to have – Jim Kemmy, John Mulvihill, who was from Cork but a native of Shanagolden and who had worked at the docks there as a 14 year old, Peadar and me.  We had great chats about Limerick, its hurling and politics.  Peadar was a wise man and a great person to advise others on issues.  As a green Member of the Oireachtas, I used to consult him on many issues during those discussions.

I remember his great sense of humour and an attractive, husky laugh when he responded to a humorous statement.  Above all, he had common sense and a commitment to Limerick, his family and his country.  I am honoured to be able to pay tribute to the life and work of Peadar Clohessy and to offer my sincere sympathy to his children – Alice, Margaret, Sinead, Andrew, Patrick and Michael – and his extended family.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.