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Statement by President Higgins on the death of Mervyn Taylor

Date: Thu 23rd Sep, 2021 | 13:24

The death of Mervyn Taylor represents the passing of an icon in the struggle for equality.

A founding figure in the movement for equal access for all citizens before the law, he would go on to become the founding Minister of the Department of Equality and Law Reform. I was honoured to share a building with him on Mespil Road.

His colleagues in the Labour Party will miss a comrade of the utmost principle, steadfastness, courage and courtesy.

His passing is an immense loss, first and foremost to his family but also to all those who have worked, and continue to work, towards a more inclusive, more equal and fairer society.

His parliamentary career included contributions as Minister, Chief Whip, Labour Party Chairman and Chairman of Dublin County Council.

Mervyn Taylor will be remembered by all those who had the privilege of working with him, as a distinguished public servant who served with such dedication, as one of the most gracious, unselfish and kindest members ever to serve in the Dáil.

He had the gift of patience and attention to detail.  He will be remembered for some of the ground-breaking legislation he introduced, including the Domestic Violence Act, the establishment of the National Disability Authority, and the passing of the divorce referendum.

Those of us who had the privilege of knowing him, of calling him our friend and colleague will miss him deeply. I recall with fondness many of my conversations with him.

Sabina and I send our sincere condolences to his wife Marilyn, his children and grandchildren, members of his wider family, the Jewish Community, and to all those who will have memories of Mervyn, and who will be deeply affected by a sense of loss by his passing.

Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam dílis, sámhach, misniúil.