The Dáil yesterday held a minute’s silence to pay tribute to British MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in her West Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen last week.

Members of the Oireachtas have also signed a book of condolence that was opened in Leinster House last Friday.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny led tributes to the British MP, saying that the “outpouring of grief and dismay at her murder” gave a strong indication to her standing as an individual and a public representative.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also offered his “deepest sympathies” to Jo’s husband Brendan, and her two young children. He said the “murder of a public representative in a democracy is thankfully a very rare and shocking event” but one that society should reflect upon. He paid tribute to Ms Cox’s record in politics, describing her as a “person who was passionate, and independent in both mind and spirit”.

Brendan Howlin, leader of the Labour Party, gave a powerful description of his experience of hearing the news of Ms Cox’s murder while campaigning alongside British Labour members for the EU referendum last week: “Word came through to the British MPs that were with us, and a British MEP who knew Jo very well. It was very emotional.”

Mr Howlin said Jo Cox would have a legacy that stood up for progressive politics: “She will inspire us to redouble our efforts to combat extremism and hatred in all its forms”

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said Ms Cox was “a believer in equality for women, and a fierce opponent of racism, intolerance and injustice whenever they existed”.

In a mark of respect Labour TDs and senators wore white roses, as did MPs at Westminster earlier this week.


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