26/05/2010

Senator Kieran Phelan Dies

Fianna Fáil Senator Kieran Phelan has died today, aged 60.

The Seanad has today been suspended following the Senator's death while Taoiseach Brian Cowen paid tribute to Mr Phelan who was first elected to the Seanad for the Laois-Offaly constituency in 2002.

Mr Cowen said he was "saddened" at the passing of Mr Phelan adding that he was a "well known, much admired and greatly respected member of Seanad Eireann".

"Kieran Phelan was an unassuming gentleman. He was kind, he was easy-going, he was dependable and he was loyal to his friends," the Taoiseach said.

He added: "He had a real ability to relate to people and had a keen political sense. He had a strong sense of humour and a strong work ethic. Kieran Phelan leaves behind a legacy of hard work and a strong commitment to public service. "

Senator Phelan was elected to Laois County Council in 1991 as a councillor for Borris-in-Ossory and first stood for the Seanad in 1997. He was the Government's spokesman on defence in the Seanad at the time of his death.

Mr Cowen extended his sympathies to Senator Phelan's wife Mary and his five children.

(DW/BMcC)

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