*Former TD Brendan Daly makes a speech at the DeValera monument. Photograph: Natasha Barton. 

FORMER CLARE TD AND MINISTER, Brendan Daly (FF) has died with his warmth, charm and intellect among the traits coming to the fore in tributes.

Political figures across the country have been paying tribute to the Cooraclare native who died in the early hours of Thursday morning at the age of eighty three.

Born in February 1940, he attended Kilrush CBS, in the early 1970s he married Kilrush woman Patricia Carmody, she died in March 2014. They are survived by their three children, Niamh, Iomhar and Ronan.

First elected to Dáil Éireann in February 1973, he retained his seat at the next six elections before losing out in 1992 with the historic success of Moosajee Bhamjee (LAB). Daly regained his seat in 1997 but was unsuccessful with further attempts in 2002 and 2007.

Brendan served as Minister for Fisheries and Forestry in 1982, Minister for the Marine (1987-1989), Minister for Defence in 1991 and Minister for Social Welfare (1991-1992). He was a strong supporter of former Taoiseach, Charles Haughey (FF) who appointed him to Cabinet.

Albert Reynolds (FF) who succeeded Haughey appointed Brendan as a Junior Minister in the Department of Foreign Affairs in February 1992.

He had three separate stints as a Senator, firstly as a Taoiseach’s nominee before being elected to the Agricultural Panel in 1993 and then onto the Labour Panel in 2002 serving until 2007. Daly retired from public life following the 2007 General Election.

Tánaiste, Micheál Martin (FF) said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of his “good friend”. He said the lifelong Fianna Fáil member “was a deeply committed public representative of great distinction who cared deeply about his community, county and country. His was a life of long and honourable service”.

Insight and advice was given by Brendan following his retirement, the Tánaiste acknowledged. “He was a truly outstanding public representative, who served the people of Clare with great diligence, care and attentiveness. He was a native of Cooraclare, a place which shaped and formed his life and about which he regularly spoke with great affection. Brendan cared deeply about his constituents and constituency, tirelessly campaigning and representing them and always seeking to improve their lives”.

“Brendan was in public life for all the right reasons. He was a man of principle and integrity and brought great energy and commitment to his many ministerial positions. Today, more than anything else, I remember Brendan’s warmth, wit, intelligence and his regular advice and insights. His approach to politics was always people-centred and he had a pragmatic and positive attitude to everything he did. His energy and enthusiasm was infectious. Brendan loved his county, his country and his Party and left his mark on each,” the Fianna Fáil leader added.

Sitting Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) said, “Brendan was a very good friend of mine and a valued political mentor for many years. Brendan gave years of stellar service to county, country and the Fianna Fáil party. Brendan was a very proud Cooraclare man throughout his life”.

Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) described Brendan as “insightful, humble and witty”. He stated, “Brendan was one of the brightest people I have ever met in politics – he was insightful, he was passionate, he was interested in people and community, he worked tirelessly and often quietly for people who were in most need. As a senior Government minister he represented Ireland on the world stage, holding his own among global leaders, all the while retaining a connection with his rural base.

“He was very witty and funny, never taking himself too seriously. He was never blinded by the trappings of office or never stood on ceremony. He remained grounded and humble regardless of the heights he achieved,” Senator Dooley added.

Speaking in the Dáil, Clare TD, Michael McNamara (IND) used the opportunity to remember Brendan, “Among his many attributes, he was a man of great charm, I think everybody who met him would agree on that and that he was a man of many attributes”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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