Tuesday, 28 May 1991
Seanad Éireann Debate
Mrs. Doyle: I would like to propose a vote of sympathy to the family of the late Councillor Eddie Fullerton, a democratically elected public representative for County Donegal who was brutally murdered over the weekend. In his death, and the manner of his death, there is a threat to democracy in all parts of this island. As elected representatives we must stand firm for the rule of law and democracy. We waste no time and do not hesitate in condemning out of hand the type of brutal act that resulted in Councillor Fullerton's death. On behalf of my party I would like to extend to the family of Councillor Fullerton, to Donegal County Council, to the people of Donegal and, indeed, to all who support democracy here our deepest sympathy.
An Cathaoirleach: With your permission, Senator, I will ask the Leader of the House if he would like to be involved in that vote of sympathy. Normally, the practice in that the Leader of the House proposes a vote of sympathy and then it is the turn of the various groups. We have established that practice and I would not like if there were any misunderstandings as to what we do in the future.
Mr. Fallon: Obviously, I too, would like on behalf of my party to be associated with the expression of sympathy to the family of the late Councillor Eddie Fullerton who many of us knew. The fact that he was an elected representative makes the crime all the more serious. All of us should be aware of this foul deed and I extend the sympathy of the House to his family.
Mr. O'Toole: Last week we passed a vote of sympathy and marked the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Again today we note assassination and murder by those people of violence who seem to stalk the world in great numbers. It is always a tragedy when democracy is assaulted, when the elected representatives of the people suffer, because it is, in a sense, an assassination of the will of the people as well. It was appropriate that yesterday the elected representatives of all parties in Donegal made their views known on how they felt about the assassination of one of their number. His views are irrelevant. He was an elected representative of the people and we have to distance ourselves from and, indeed, condemn the assassination of the councillor in the strongest possible way. It was an assault on democracy.
Mr. Harte: Very briefly, I wish to be associated with the remarks made by the previous speakers. I met Eddie Fullerton on a couple of occasions at conferences and I found him to be very serious about the democratic political system in the country. It is rather a pity that more people did not follow his example and enter into politics in the right way. I would like to convey, on behalf of the Labour Party, our sympathy to his wife and family.
Mr. Dardis: On behalf of the Progressive Democrats I would like to join with the other groups in this vote of sympathy. We condemn violent death from whatever source and we condemn particularly the violent death of somebody who was a democratically elected representative. We join in sending our sympathy to Councillor Fullerton's family, to the members of Donegal County Council and to the people of Donegal.
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