Former Ceann Comhairle John O Connell dies
FORMER Cean Comhairle and health minister Dr John O Connell has died at the age of 86.
Dr O'Connell was first elected as a Labour TD for Dublin South-West in 1965, before becoming Ceann Comhairle in 1981, holding that position until after the second general election in 1982, when he was returned as an Independent TD for Dublin South-Central.
He switched to Fianna Fáil and was a Taoiseach's nominee to the Seanad between 1987 and 1989, before being returned to the Dail, where he stayed until his retirement in 1993.
He served as minister for health between 1992 and 1993, and as an MEP between 1979 and 1981.
Sean Barrett, the current Ceann Comhairle, expressed his sympathies to Dr O'Connell's family.
"John served as Ceann Comhairle in the 22nd Dail in 1981 and in the 23rd Dail in 1982 and also had a distinguished career as a medical doctor, as founder of the Irish Medical Times, Minister for Health, MEP, Senator and most importantly represented his constituents with dedication over a long period of time being elected for the first time in 1965," Mr Barrett said.
"I wish to extend my sincere sympathy to his family on this sad occasion."