Tributes paid after deaths of two former TDs
FIANNA Fail has suffered the loss of two former TDs who had a combined Dail service of 50 years.
Noel Davern (67) served as education minister under Charlie Haughey, as junior agriculture minister under Bertie Ahern and was a TD for 32 years in total for the Tipperary South constituency.
Denis Foley (79) represented the Kerry North constituency for 18 years, but controversially resigned from Fianna Fail and as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee following revelations that he held an offshore Ansbacher account.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin paid tribute to both men and extended his sympathies to their families.
He said Mr Davern, who died suddenly over the weekend, had a great sense of community representation and public service in line with his family's legacy – with his father and brother serving as Fianna Fail TDs before him.
"Noel was known in politics for his kind nature and good sense of humour. He was a passionate public servant who never shied away from representing his constituents at a local, national or European level," he said.
Mr Davern served in the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984. He was promoted to Minister for Education by Charlie Haughey in 1991 but was replaced when Albert Reynolds took over as Taoiseach a year later. He is survived by his wife Anne Marie and their children Don, Marc and Davina.
Mr Martin also paid tribute to the late Fianna Fail TD Denis Foley who passed away at his home in Tralee, Co Kerry, last Saturday, following a short illness.
Mr Foley is survived by his wife Hannah, daughters Norma – a Fianna Fail councillor – Margaret and Denise and his son Billy.
He became the first TD to ever receive a penalty for breaching the Ethics in Public Office Act when he was suspended from the Dail for 14 days in May 2000.
The Moriarty Tribunal heard he held funds of up to £100,000 (€127,000) in his offshore account.
The former rates collector and businessman was first elected to the Dail in 1981 and held the seat for three elections, losing out in 1989.
This was followed by a three-year stint in the Seanad before he regained his seat in 1992. He held it until his retirement in 2002.