On behalf of the Labour Party, I express deepest sympathy to the family of Séamus Brennan and to the Fianna Fáil Party on the sad and untimely death of Séamus this morning. As others have pointed out – although it is an understatement – Séamus was an exceptionally successfully politician over 30 years. To die at such an early age of 60 years having achieved so much in life is extraordinary. I have no doubt his family and colleagues will hold this thought dear in the years ahead.
I first came across Séamus Brennan when I was a current affairs producer in RTE many years ago. I always found Séamus to be a most amiable, personable and likeable man. Although politicians are not performing a charity when appearing on radio and television programmes because they benefit from such appearances I always found Séamus, of all his colleagues across all parties, to be immensely approachable and very careful and considerate in terms of acquaintance with and knowledge of individual journalists and people around him. Many people from across the political spectrum ascribed this attribute to him. He was a most decent and personable man.
More recently, when I became a constituency colleague of Séamus, I found the same level of kindness and I appreciated very much the genuine interest he showed in persons of an opposing political point of view. It has been noted the extraordinary number of votes Séamus Brennan won in Dublin South. Even in this period of success and endurance for the Fianna Fáil Party, it is an extraordinary achievement to have obtained more than 13,000 votes in a constituency in which other party colleagues were also successful. One must get up very early in the morning to take on that formidable operation in the Dublin South constituency. It was a testament to Séamus that he was such a success and so well liked in the constituency.
I join the heartfelt sympathies which have been extended to the family of Séamus Brennan. Séamus’s family are uppermost in all of our minds. We have lost someone who made a major contribution to public service. We should not forget the noble opportunity we all have to give public service and Séamus Brennan did that to a very considerable extent.