Tributes paid to politician Donal Creed who has died age 93

Cork Fine Gael TD served 22 years in the Dáil and was father of Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed

Donal Creed

Donal Creed

 

Warm tributes have been paid from across the political spectrum to former Fine Gael TD and minister of state Donal Creed who has died at the age of 93.

The father of Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann for Mid-Cork in the 1965 general election, having unsuccessfully contested a byelection caused some months earlier by the death of Labour TD Dan Desmond

Mr Creed was re-elected at a further seven general elections, switching in 1981 to the newly formed Cork North West constituency. He served 22 years in the Dáil and was a member of the European Parliament from 1973 to 1977.

He served as a minister of state for health under Garret FitzGerald in the 1981 Fine Gael-Labour coalition government. He was later appointed minister of state for education, serving until Dr FitzGerald dismissed him after he refused to resign during a reshuffle in February 1986. He retired from active politics in 1989 but saw his son Michael retain the seat.

Former Fine Gael Cork South West TD Jim O’Keeffe said Mr Creed was a very able politician who would have made a fine senior minister. He believed Dr FitzGerald’s decision to sack him was one of his biggest mistakes.

“I think he was one of the finest colleagues I ever served in the Dáil with. He was both able and affable and the very essence of decency, he really was a wonderful guy and his son Michael is a chip off the old block showing the same qualities in great measure.

“The fact that he was elected eight times shows the regard people had for him and he was a very unselfish man, putting the party first to use his popularity to ensure Fine Gael took two seats time and again with Frank Crowley in Cork North West.”

Former Fianna Fáil TD and constituency rival Tom Meaney was also generous in his praise, recalling they were both elected to the Dáil in 1965.

“It was with sadness that I learned of Donal’s death. He was a hard worker and possessed a very keen political brain and he had great grasp of affairs as they were happening, particularly rural affairs, and he wasn’t afraid to work with his opponents to get something for his constituents.”

Former Cork East Fianna Fáil TD Ned O’Keeffe said he had marked Mr Creed when Fianna Fáil were in opposition in the mid-1980s and always found him fair and straight in any dealings he had with him.

Mr Creed is survived by his wife Madeleine, his five daughters Marcella, Michelle, Madeleine, Suzanne and Louise and his son Michael. He was predeceased by his infant daughter Nuala and eldest daughter Claire who died in October.