An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has paid tribute to former Ceann Comhairle Seán Treacy on his death at the age of 94.
“Seán was a giant of politics from the 1960s to the 1990s. He gave proud service to the people of Tipperary, and particularly Clonmel.
“A former Mayor of Clonmel, he was first elected to the Dail in 1961, where he served for 36 years. He also had extensive service at local authority level, was a Munster MEP for three years, and held many other positions in public life.
“He is particularly remembered as an impartial, fair and independent Ceann Comhairle. I know that is how he will be remembered by many members of the Dail. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
Former Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil, Seán Treacy, who was a TD for Tipperary South for 36 years and was also an MEP for three years passed away at the age of 94.
Mr Treacy, who lived at Heywood Road in Clonmel, died peacefully on Friday night in South Tipperary General Hospital.
He was formerly a member of the Labour Party and was first elected to the Dáil in 1961, holding his seat until 1997.
He was expelled from the Labour Party in 1985 after voting against the family planning bill introduced by the party’s Minister for Health Barry Desmond and was elected as an independent in 1987, going on to become Ceann Comhairle for the subsequent three Dáil terms. He had also held that position from 1973 to 1977 when Fine Gael and Labour were in power.
Labour TD for Tipperary Alan Kelly has extended his sympathy to the family, friends and supporters of former Ceann Comhairle and TD for Tipperary South, Seán Tracey.
Deputy Kelly said: "I am very saddened to hear today of the death of former Ceann Comhairle and Labour TD for Tipperary South, Seán Tracey who provided decades of service to the constituency and in particular the people of Clonmel.
"Seán preceded me as TD in Tipperary and MEP in Munster, and I know he will be greatly missed by all who knew and served with him, whether as Councillor, TD or MEP.
"In particular he will be remembered for being returned seven times to the Dáil alongside a further three terms when he served as Ceann Comhairle.
"He made a huge contribution to our county and our country, and in particular his immense service as Ceann Comhairle and on the Council of State.
"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam."
Mr Treacy was an MEP for the Munster constituency from 1981 until 1984 and also held membership of Tipperary South County Council and Clonmel Corporation for much of his political career, since first being elected as a senior alderman in 1955.
He was mayor of Clonmel from 1957 to 1958 and other posts held over the years included the chair of the Civil Service Commission and Local Appointments Commission, President of the Clonmel Trades and Labour Coucil, president of the Joint Board for Conciliation and Arbitration for the Irish footwear and leather industry, and membership of the Council of State due to his position as Ceann Comhairle. His first job had been in a shoe factory in Clonmel.
He was a graduate of University College Cork, where he earned a diploma in social and economic science, and retired from the Dáil in 1997. He was later made a freeman of Clonmel.
Mr Treacy was regarded as being on the conservative wing of the house, even in the 1980s, but his independence of mind and fairness was admired on all sides which was illustrated by the length of time he spent in the chair.
Mr Treacy’s remains will repose at O’Donoghue’s funeral home in Clonmel from 5pm on Sunday evening, with removal to St Mary’s Church at 7.30pm. Burial will take place on Monday in St Patrick’s Cemetery after funeral Mass at 12 noon.