Tributes paid to former Carlow-Kilkenny TD Seamus Pattison

He served as a representative for his constituency for 46 years

Tributes paid to former Carlow-Kilkenny TD Seamus Pattison

Seamus Pattison is pictured after a presentation at Leinster House in 2001 | Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated: 19.15

Tributes are being paid to former Labour Party TD for Carlow-Kilkenny Seamus Pattison.

The long-serving deputy has died at the age of 81.

He served as Leas-Cheann Comhairle of the Dáil from 2002 to 2007 and Ceann Comhairle from 1997 to 2002.

He was also Minister of State for Social Welfare from 1983 to 1987.

He also represented Ireland at the European Parliament as an MEP from 1981 to 1983.

He served as a TD for the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency from 1961 to 2007.

Seamus Pattison is pictured outside Dáil Éireann in 1998 | Image: RollingNews.ie

"Loved by the people of Kilkenny"

President Michael D Higgins said: "I have learned with great sadness of the death of Seamus Pattison, the distinguished former Labour Party TD from Kilkenny.

"Seamus served with great distinction in public life at every level for almost five decades, including terms in office as Ceann Comhairle and Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Eireann, Minister of State, Chairman of Oireachtas Committees and as a member of the European Parliament.

"As Father of the House in his final term in Dáil Éireann, he was regularly sought out by new TDs across the political spectrum for counsel because of his sharp political brain, and the wisdom he drew from many years of experience.

"Much-loved by the people of Kilkenny, he also served as Mayor of his home City on three occasions.

"I, with so many others have the warmest memories of Seamus as both a friend and colleague over a lifetime in politics and we shall all greatly miss his effortless charm and infectious sense of humour.

"Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to his family, colleagues in the Labour Party and the trade union movement, friends and all those who knew him."

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar 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."

"The best of an old Labour tradition"

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has extended his sympathy to Mr Pattison's family and friends.

He said: "It is with sadness that I've learnt of the death today of my great friend and colleague Seamus Pattison TD.

"Seamus was a stalwart in the Parliamentary Labour Party that I joined as a young man.

"He was generous both with his time and his advice to this young parliamentarian.

"He served Carlow-Kilkenny faithfully and loved his native constituency.

"He enjoyed his period as a Minister of State in the Department of Social Welfare and excelled as Ceann Comhairle where he particularly enjoyed representing the parliament he loved.

"Seamus represented the best of an old Labour tradition. I was proud to have known him and worked with him."

"Fair and impartial"

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has also paid tribute to Mr Pattison.

"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."