tradition upheld..

In the Dáil today, the leaders of the political parties upheld the tradition of not speaking ill of the dead.. instead, for the most part, focusing on criticism of the coverage of Liam Lawlor’s death in Moscow. One party leader carefully stepping through the sensibilities of those concerned was Pat Rabbitte as RTÉ reports – “[Labour leader Pat Rabbitte] said he would have liked to be able to say that Mr Lawlor had used his prodigious talent exclusively for public service and to enhance politics, but he was unable to do so.” Dáil link here.[Updated link]For his part, Sinn Féin’s leader in the Dáil, Caoimghín Ó Caoláin, seems to have decided to take a somewhat bizarre line –

Caoimghín Ó Caoláin of Sinn Féin said printing the stories about the circumstances of Mr Lawlor’s death was unacceptable even if true, but unforgivable when they were not.

Unacceptable even if true?

and he went on, according to the report, to question the Taoiseach about when proposed defamation legislation would be introduced..

Meanwhile, as RTÉ also notes –

Mr Lawlor’s widow, Hazel, and a number of their children were in the distinguished visitors’ gallery.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said Mr Lawlor was a person who was controversial, but he was ‘a good guy’. Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said Mr Lawlor was personally a kind and generous man.