Taoiseach to honor the remarkable life of the late Paddy Smith TD

"A man of determination and action" is how local Fianna Fáil Deputy Niamh Smyth remembers the late Paddy Smith TD.

She was speaking ahead of Taoiseach Micheál Martin leading a commemoration event in Tunnyduff next week.

Members of the Knockbride Cumainn and local Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Niamh Smyth, will gather on Friday November 5 at 2.30pm for the Centenary Commemoration of the late Paddy Smith TD’s sentencing to death by Court Marshall for ‘treason and levying war’ during the War of Independence.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin will deliver a graveside oration at St Brigids Church, Tunnyduff in Bailieborough.

Speaking about her late granduncle, Deputy Smyth said, "It is important to honour and remember the life of Paddy Smith, one of the great patriots of our revolution. From small farming stock, Paddy Smith joined the Volunteers in 1917, and by the age of 19 was the youngest commandant in the IRA. He was captured by British forces in 1921 and put on trial for treason but was spared after a truce was called between the British Army and the IRA during the War of Independence.

"Paddy was interned during the Civil War. Weakened from a 41-day hunger strike with six fellow-prisoners, he was invited to stand for the Dáil in 1923. He went on to serve as a Teachta Dála from 1923 until 1977; a tenure of 53 years, making him the longest-ever serving TD in the Dáil. He later said there were worse ways of entering politics than with a rope around one's neck.

"Everyone who was lucky enough to have met him, knew him as a man of determination and action. On entering cabinet in 1947, his focus turned to better housing for small farmers, agricultural labourers and the urban working class.

"During his time as Minister for Agriculture, his priority was to increase output for export, encouraging greater productivity, grassland improvement and TB elimination. His drive and determination resulted in the creation of a new reality and new possibilities for the Irish people.

"100 years after his sentencing to death, it is appropriate that we gather to honour this remarkable man and everything he achieved for our nation.''