I was both shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of my former colleague John Connor.
John was someone who cared passionately for rural Ireland and had an in-depth knowledge of farming and agriculture, which was reflected in his many valued contributions as a TD, Senator and Councillor.
But John also had a deep understanding of international affairs. I was always amazed when, on the odd occasion an international topic came up at a meeting in the back room of a rural pub, how he could explain the issue in such detail and relate it back to the issues and challenges facing that particular rural parish.
John was one of the great political orators of his generation and was proud to carry on the tradition of his neighbour James Dillon. John could also, on occasion, eviscerate the political opposition with his contribution.
John gave nearly 30 years of service to public representation and developed a large network of friends throughout the country who, along his sisters, their families, and his neighbours, will miss him dearly.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam