Statement on the death of Emmet Stagg

17 March 2024

Following the death of former Kildare Labour TD and Minister of State Emmet Stagg, Labour Party Leader Ivana Bacik said:

“I want to pay tribute to our friend and colleague Emmet Stagg on his passing, and extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Mary, children Gillian and Henry, extended family, friends, and supporters.

Emmet had a continuous unbroken record of 29 years’ service in the Dáil from 1987 right up to 2016 in the constituencies of Kildare and Kildare North following in the proud Labour tradition of William Norton there.

“Throughout his time in Labour politics he played a central role in the Party and in the internal debates within it. During the 1980’s as a significant voice on the left of the Party he articulated positions often in confrontation with the leadership. He was also a great mentor to me when I first joined the Party as a student in the late 1980’s and was always very supportive of Labour Youth within the Party. Canvassing in Kildare with Emmet was a really positive experience – he was hugely popular in his community and consistently championed the needs of those facing inequality and disadvantage.

“Emmet’s differences with the leadership were reconciled in the 1990’s and Emmet went on to serve as Minister of State for the Environment and later as Minister of State for Transport, Energy and Communications from 1994 to 1997.

“In the Custom House he was responsible for Housing and he proudly spoke later of his record of building homes and reducing housing lists, and how the level of homes being delivered was ramped up from 800 units a year to 10,000. He was a strong and constant advocate for direct building of social and affordable homes by local authorities.

“In the Dáil he was a frontbench spokesperson on a variety of areas, and often deployed his knowledge as a medical technologist in debates on health. Most recently he served as Labour Chief Whip from 2007 right up until 2016, and as Deputy Government Whip during the 2011 to 2016 government.

“Emmet was a pillar of Labour politics, both in Leinster House, and in Kildare, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was kind and considerate, and maintained a keen interest in Labour politics even after leaving the Dáil.

“Those of us who knew him as a friend and supportive mentor over many years are particularly saddened by the news of his passing. Outside of politics he also had a keen interest in gardening and fishing, and regaled us all over the years with many stories. Our deepest sympathies are with Mary and his family at this time.”


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