Former ceann comhairle Seán Treacy dies aged 93

Conservative politician expelled from Labour Party in 1985 after voting against family planning Bill

Former ceann comhairle Seán Treacy (top left), with (on right)  then taoiseach Charlie Haughey, listening to Nelson Mandela addressing the Dáil in 1990. File photograph: Frank Miller

Former ceann comhairle Seán Treacy (top left), with (on right) then taoiseach Charlie Haughey, listening to Nelson Mandela addressing the Dáil in 1990. File photograph: Frank Miller

 

The death has taken place of former ceann comhairle of the Dáil, Seán Treacy.

Mr Treacy was a TD for Tipperary South for 36 years and was also an MEP for three years.

He lived at Heywood Road in Clonmel and died peacefully on Friday night in South Tipperary General Hospital at the age of 93.

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.

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 Council; 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.

Conservative wing

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.

Labour Party spokesperson on health Alan Kelly TD, representing Tipperary, extended sympathies to family friends and supporters of Mr Treacy upon his death.

Mr 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’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.

He was predeceased some years ago by his wife Catherine (Kitty).