LEAS-CATAHOIRLEACH of SEANAD ÉIREANN
Seanad Government Chief Whip & Spokesperson on Defence
There were statements made in the Seanad on Wednesday remembering my good friend and former Fianna Fáil Senator Tom Fitzgerald who sadly passed away in June 2013.
Section from Miriam Lord's Week - The Irish Times February 15th 2014, You can view the full article here.
Charlie’s man in Dingle
There were fond thoughts of the late Tom Fitzgerald in the Seanad on Wednesday.
Tom, who died last year, was a member of the Upper House for many years and was Charlie Haughey’s man on earth. Or at least he was Charlie’s man in Dingle and on the island of Inishvickillane.
Fianna Fáil’s Denis O’Donovan led the official expression of sympathy. Tom’s family – wife Bridie and children Michelle, Breandán and Tomás were present for the occasion along with, observed Denis, “what appears to be half of An Daingean”.
As it turned out, the formalities in the Seanad happened to coincide with the launch that evening of the Peaidi O Sé annual football challenge.
Fine Gael senator Paul Coghlan, paid warm tribute to his fellow Kerryman who did much “to put Dingle on the map”.
Coghlan recalled how Tom, a fine figure of a man in his day, played stand-in for movie star Robert Mitchum during the filming of the movie, Ryan’s Daughter. He also mentioned how Tom Fitz, as he was known, looked after Inishvickillane for Haughey, keeping an eye on it when he wasn’t there.
He told the old story of how, when the former Taoiseach’s house was under construction on the island, that a terrible storm struck and Tom and the site workers were marooned for days. The builders, bored and thirsty, remembered putting in an underground cellar for CJH’s wine collection.
”The workmen decided it would be a shame to see it go to waste and laid into it as they had nothing else to pass the time in the evenings” said Paul.
When they finally got back to Dingle, they went into the local shop and bought replacements. Black Tower, Pedrotti and the like – only the good schtuff!
”I can only imagine what the Boss thought – I never heard,” sighed Paul.