Thursday, 11 July 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I join in the tributes and sympathies to the late, great Brendan Grace, who was one of the greatest comedians Ireland has ever produced. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, Eileen, and his four children on the loss of this marvellous man. I saw his concerts and was there in 1989 when he met Frank Sinatra in the Horse Show House in Ballsbridge. It was a most memorable occasion to meet the great Frank Sinatra. I remember the jokes so well, and Brendan said it was one of the most expensive gigs in his life with the $20,000 he paid to Mr. Sinatra. Frank was enthralled. Then they sang "When Irish Eyes are Smiling". It was a memorable occasion. Brendan also had a great career in the United States of America.
I also send my deepest sympathy on the death of our old friend, Noel Whelan, senior counsel, to his wife, Sinéad, and his young son, Séamus. Noel was one of the founders of the Kennedy Summer School, a columnist with the The Irish Times, and a very intelligent man. Over the years Noel was very involved with Fianna Fáil and was a candidate in a general election. He was also a great pundit.
With the summer recess coming up it is an opportunity for the Taoiseach, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs to intensify contacts in Europe over the summer with regard to the future and to Brexit, and at the earliest opportunity to meet the incoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, to ensure we have a strong relationship with him . It is very important that we build up a very close liaison with our nearest neighbour, which is one of our biggest customers. They are our customers but we in turn-----