Taoiseach Micheál Martin on former Minister Micheal O’Kennedy
16 April 2022
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Minister, European Commissioner, TD, and Senator Michael O’Kennedy.
Few people have left such a rich, or long, political legacy, or dedicated so much to Irish public life.
Fighting his first election in 1965, Michael served the people of Tipperary North with great commitment as a TD from 1969, and many times more until 2002.
A man of great integrity and friendly demeanour, Michael had a front row seat for the formative years of modern Ireland.
A Senior Counsel, he had a keen legal mind, and brought great wit, intelligence and determination to several Ministerial roles spanning three decades.
This experience was crucial whether serving as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Finance, Labour, Agriculture, Transport, Economic Planning and Development, or Public Service.
Michael was also a strong voice for Ireland on the international stage, serving as European Commissioner in the early 1980s, before returning to the Dail to serve his beloved Tipperary North once again.
He also served ably as a Senator, in 1965, and again from 1993 to 1997, in an extraordinary 37-year career in national politics.
I want to express my deepest sympathies to the O’Kennedy family at this very difficult time, especially to his wife Breda and children Brian, Orla and Mary.