I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Terry Brennan, a member of our Fine Gael family who served with distinction for many years on Louth County Council and in the Seanad.
When I first became a Minister, and Terry was our spokesperson for Tourism and Sport in the Seanad, we worked closely on many issues. I enjoyed sharing ideas and discussing policy and he was always good company and a great source of advice, especially over a pint in The Ginger Man.
Terry had a passionate interest in developing better North-South relations and he has left a strong legacy in terms of cross-border co-operation. For example, the proposal for a Narrow Water Bridge across Carlingford Lough was something he long championed. Its inclusion in both the New Decade, New Approach framework and the new Programme for Government is part of his legacy.
When President Bill Clinton visited Ireland in 2000, he met with Terry and discussed the future of our island, and they even arranged to play a round of golf at Augusta in Georgia the following summer.
A great public representative, Terry always ensured that issues concerning the people of the Cooley Peninsula and the north of Dundalk were to the fore. He was a strong advocate for his constituents both locally and nationally.
From early on he saw the tourism potential of Louth and worked tirelessly to promote it through initiatives like the Tidy Towns. He likewise made an important contribution through his work as an engineering officer with the ESB.
I know that Terry was excellent sportsman, a great golfer who captained Greenore, and also someone who excelled with the GAA in his younger years. He captained Cooley Kickhams to senior championship glory in 1973 and won senior championship medals, several Cardinal O’Donnell and Old Gaels Cup medals, and also represented Louth at minor and senior level.
Terry exemplified the idea of public service, serving the people of Carlingford, Louth, and our island with courage, ability and distinction.
Our condolences to his wife Aileen and to their children, family and friends.
Ba pholaiteoir prionsapálta é Terry Brennan. Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam dílis.