Taoiseach pays tribute to Mary Wallace
I want to extend my best wishes to Mary Wallace today as she announces her decision not to contest the next General Election.
Mary Wallace has had a long and distinguished career in which she has been a very hard-working and productive representative for the people of Meath.
Mary has been in politics for almost 30 years since she first became a member of Meath County Council in 1982. She has been a very active local politician and she has a well deserved reputation for delivering for her constituents. Mary has immense knowledge on rural issues and issues of concern to farm families and her experience and wisdom in this area have been of immense benefit to Fianna Fáil and to Government. Mary has also shown considerable political skill in helping fast-growing communities positively develop and she has worked with local residents to ensure the provision of quality community and educational facilities.
Mary Wallace was a member of Seanad Eireann from 1987 to 1989 and she was first elected to the Dáil in the General Election of 1989. Throughout her time in Leinster House she has been a popular and respected colleague and I want to thank her today for the courtesy and friendship she has always shown me.
She has served the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party with ability, loyalty and commitment down through the years. I especially want to acknowledge Mary’s very successful tenure as Chair of the Fianna Fáil National Women’s Committee where she did very solid work in encouraging more women to become active in our party and in politics.
Mary Wallace has also made a strong contribution to Government. She has served as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with Special Responsibility for Forestry and as Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Food Safety and Health Promotion as well as having served as Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform with special responsibilities for Equality and Disabilities.
In this latter role, Mary put an enormous amount of effort into preparing legislation which subsequently became the Disability Act and provided a new comprehensive framework for delivering services to people with disabilities.
I want to thank Mary today for all her work for her community in Meath, for Fianna Fail and for our country. I wish Mary and her husband Declan and her son Tom all the very best for the future. Ends