President Michael D Higgins leads tributes to former Labour minister Mervyn Taylor
FORMER Labour minister and Dublin South West TD Mervyn Taylor has passed away at the age of 89.
A local councillor with Dublin County Council in the seventies, Mr Taylor was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party TD for Dublin South West in 1981 – representing the constituency until his retirement in 1997.
President Michael D Higgins has today, September 23, led tributes to Mervyn Taylor, describing him as a person of the “utmost principle, steadfastness, courage and courtesy”.
In his tribute, the President noted Mr Taylor’s contributions as Minister, Chief Whip, Labour Party Chairman and Chairman of Dublin County Council.
He also spoke of the “ground-breaking legislation” Mr Taylor introduced, including the Domestic Violence Act, the establishment of the National Disability Authority, and the passing of the divorce referendum.
“The death of Mervyn Taylor represents the passing of an icon in the struggle for equality”, the President said.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Former Labour minister and Dublin South West TD, Pat Rabbitte worked alongside Mr Taylor in the county council, Dáil and Cabinet – representing Tallaght from when it was in its infancy in the early eighties.
“Mervyn provided a very conscientious service to the constituency of Dublin South West”, Mr Rabbitte said.
“He was also a very formidable person and left a legacy in the legislative area.”
Former Dublin-Mid West TD Robert Dowds (Labour) remembers Mr Taylor as the “most hardworking person” he has ever known.
“He worked incredibly hard for his constituents, he was a great national and local politician”, he said.
Expressing his sadness at the passing of Mervyn Taylor, Tallaght Central councillor Charlie O’Connor (FF) said: “Mervyn was always so kind and helpful to me and he was a great representative for the people of Tallaght.
“[He] always worked closely with other elected representatives on the issues of concern to the people”.
Condolences are also being extended to Mr Taylor’s wife Marilyn, children, grandchildren, and members of his wider family.