FORMER Macroom Fine Gael TD Donal Creed was proud of his many achievements in office, including the setting up of the National Lottery. But he was most proud of the fact that he was elected time and again by the people he represented, his daughter Marcella told mourners at his funeral mass on Monday.
Marcella Creed said her father entered politics via Cork County Council when his own father, Mick, passed away and while he enjoyed his time on Cork County Council, in Dáil Eireann and the European Parliament, he drew his greatest satisfaction from serving and being endorsed by his constituents.
‘He served as a TD from 1965 until 1989 and he was also honoured to serve in a junior ministerial role in health, education and the environment – there were challenges, ups and downs and some significant achievements too,’ she told a packed St Colman’s Church in Macroom.
‘He was proud to instigate the setting-up of the National Lottery against some stiff opposition, but most of all he was proudest to be continually endorsed by the people of this constituency in all eight general elections he contested from 1965 until 1989,’ she added.
Mr Creed (93) died on November 23rd after being in poor health for some time.
Leading the mourners were his widow, Madeleine and their daughters, Marcella, Michelle, Madeleine, Suzanne and Louise and their son, the current Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, and their 25 grandchildren.
Ms Creed said that after her father’s retirement from politics in 1989, he reverted to his first love of farming and in more recent years as he grew older, attending to his vegetable garden at their home at Codrum in Macroom, taking great pride in always having the best new potatoes in the family.
‘He had an undying faith in the power of a wheelbarrow and farmyard manure, despite the adverse effects on my mother’s rockery plants which caused some marital conflict and he continued to do so until the age of 90, though he paced himself with the wheelbarrow and grew potatoes only.
‘He eagerly awaited the season’s new potatoes and used to boast that his were better than those of others in the family who would dare to compete with him in this area ... those of you who knew my uncle John will know pride in new potatoes were something that ran deep in this family.’
And she painted a loving picture of her father as a family man, not just with his children, but also with his grandchildren, as she recalled how he used to play with them and do their bidding in whatever game or project they conjured up for him to participate in.
‘He had time in his retirement to delight in the company of his 25 grandchildren and would usually go down to the level of the child. I can still hear my mother saying, “Donal, you are worse than any child” as he played in the sandpit or in the bouncy castle, or slid down the banister with them.’
Among the figures from the world of politics to pay their respects at Mr Creed’s funeral mass, celebrated by MonsignorJames O’Donnell, were Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Ministers of State, David Stanton, Joe O’Reilly and Andrew Doyle.
Others to attend included Fine Gael senators Jerry Buttimer and Tim Lombard, Cork North Central Fianna Fail TD Billy Kelleher, former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes and former Fine Gael TDs, Bernard Allen, Jim O’Keeffe, Avril Doyle, Tom Hayes and Paul Bradford.
Among the others to pay their respects were Mayor of Cork County Cllr Declan Hurley; former Cork All-Ireland winning footballer Colman Corrigan; former Cork county sheriff Michael O’Driscoll; former Lord Mayor of Cork Donal Counihan, and former deputy IFA president Tim O’Leary.
Earlier, Minister of State Jim Daly had paid his respects to Mr Creed when he attended his removal on Saturday, when an estimated 8,000 people came to sympathise with the family between 3.30pm and 9pm when his remains were removed to St Colman’s.
Former Cork South West TD Jim O’Keeffe described the late Mr Creed as a very able politician who would have made a fine senior minister and he described Garret FitzGerald’s decision to sack him as a Minister of State as one of Taoiseach FitzGerald’s biggest mistakes.
‘I think he was one of the finest colleagues I ever served in the Dáil with – he was both able and affable and the very essence of decency,’ he said.
‘He really was a wonderful guy and his son, Michael, is a chip off the old block, showing the same qualities in great measure.
‘The fact that he was elected eight times shows the regard people had for him and he was a very unselfish man, putting the party first to use his popularity to ensure Fine Gael took two seats time and again with Frank Crowley in Cork North West.’
He stepped down from the Dáil at the general election of 1989.
That year his son Michael Creed, now Agriculture Minister, was elected to Dáil Éireann.