Labor Party TD for Longford / Westmeath, Willie Penrose, is one of those who paid tribute to former Earl member of Westmeath County, Dan McCarthy, who died yesterday.
McCarthy, a farmer from Galmoylestown, Mullingar, served as a district councilor in the 1970s and after a long absence was re-elected to the local authorities on the Labor ticket in 1999. Then he served until his retirement in 2012, building up about 23 years of experience as an elected representative. He was also a former chairman of Westmeath VEC (now Longford and Westmeath ETB).
In between, Mr. McCarthy became known nationally as one of the co-founders of the revived National Land League in the late 1960s, which was in turmoil for small farmers and the rural population when Ireland joined the EEC. He also served for a long period as Chairman of the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers' Association (ICMSA).
"My first memory of Dan is in the late sixties," said deputy Penrose. "He was a powerful orator and advocate, and in a few sentences, he could, like no one else, glorify the virtues and goodness of rural Ireland, and make a strong, sustained quarrel about why it was left behind, or why a certain policies may not be the most favorable for its rural people.
"He was a fearless and tireless advocate." He got up early in the morning with his wife Ann and their family to work on the farm and then set off, first at the Land League, with Ned Gilligan, Paddy Jordan and other old-timers.
"Their main goal was to ensure that small farmers and landless people benefited from the land redistributed by the Irish Land Commission, and as a result of their campaigns, they often forced the Land Commission to actually acquire land for those otherwise funded by speculators and ranchers. would have bought up landless people on the landladder and helped small farmers to expand their business.
"The Land League was a great campaign and I remember that as a young farmer at the end of the 1970s I was involved in meetings and press conferences with Dan, Ned and Paddy in Buswell's Hotel."
As Chairman of the ICMSA, deputy Penrose said that Mr. McCarthy was "in his element" in dealing with the Appeals Board's Appeals Committee. "There are many people in rural Ireland, farmers or not, who owe gratitude to Dan and his colleagues in both the Land League and the ICMSA," he said.
The Ballynacargy man said that in 1999 the fortunes of the Labor Party in Westmeath were greatly helped by the recruitment of Mr. McCarthy, who brought his "flamboyance and oratorical skills to the room" with great effect.
"He always lit up when something from the national perspective came on the agenda," said deputy Penrose. "He had a great social conscience.
"He also had a strong faith, which gave him great admiration, he could be very independent on points of view – a very admirable trait, embracing an independence and fearlessness that resonated with many people, and ensured that he was respected at the headquarters of Labor.
"He was also very loyal to the party, he was an extremely hard worker when it came to recruitment and he was incredibly fit."
Deputy Penrose paid tribute to the wife of Mr. McCarthy, Ann, and their children. "Family was central to Dan & # 39; s life, and his whole reason to be," he said. "That is another admirable trait.
"Today there are very few people like Dan McCarthy on the political stage, with so broad experience and a gift to put it into words in an experienced way.
"He was very learned from a political perspective, he knew the power of the press, there was no minister for agriculture or land who did not know him – and they all knew what he wanted: a big handshake and a smile, and to business .
"I have learned a lot from him, he will be missed very much. & # 39;
Dary and Laurence, who are rescued by Danons Dary and Laurence, are mated by his wife Ann, their son Oliver, daughters Margueritta, Regina and Noeleen, and his extended family, including Samantha Gill, sons-in-law Seamus Keogh and Ciaran McKenna, daughter-in-law. -law Irene, Oliver & # 39; s partner Yvonne, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins, cousins, relatives and a wide circle of neighbors and friends.
After he is housed in his house on Sunday 26 August (5 pm to 8 pm, private at all other times, please), Dan will be removed to the church of the Assumption, Taughmon on Monday morning at noon, Begrafenismis, and will be laid to rest on the adjacent cemetery (private home on Monday morning, please).