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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
# tributes
Dáil observes moment of silence in memory of MP David Amess
Amess was stabbed to death while meeting constituents last week. / YouTube

A MOMENT OF silence was observed in the Dáil this afternoon in memory of MP David Amess who who was stabbed to death while meeting constituents last week.

Amess, 69, who had been an MP since 1983, was fatally injured while meeting constituents. A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin gave his condolences to the Amess’ family on behalf of the entire Government and all Members of the House.

“He was needlessly murdered while meeting with and serving his own constituents last Friday in Southend-on-Sea. Holding clinics is something we as elected representatives do as part of our public service to the communities we serve.

“Face-to-face interaction with constituents is what makes our job worthwhile and fruitful. It is a crucial part of our democracy and we should do our utmost to protect and continue it,” he said.

Martin said the murder “was an attack on democracy”.

“One could not but be moved by the extraordinary expressions of solidarity and friendship from his constituents and the people he served, who spoke about him so eloquently. It is a wonderful legacy as a politician to have that.

“I sincerely hope that Sir David’s wife Julia and his four daughters receive some comfort from these kind comments as they deal with their deep personal and very sad loss,” he added.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald expressed her sympathies on behalf of her party, stating:

“To his wife Julia, his children and their wider family we send our sincere condolences. The job of public service and public representation is all about people. It is about being up close and sometimes very personal with people and so his loss sends a shock wave through not just the British system but internationally.

“For all of us who are proud to be elected and represent our citizens, we share in the shock of the constituents of Southend West, David’s constituency, who I have no doubt are equally traumatised, shocked and saddened by his loss.”

Labour’s Ged Nash said the killing of David Amess reminds us all of the brutal murder of UK Labour MP Jo Cox, five years ago.

David Amess should not have died like this in the course of his work as a public representative.  No public representative or public servant should ever have to die like this. The genesis of the kind of hate that led to this brutal killing needs to be reflected on by all of us.  

“This country is not immune. Our national Parliament, by which I mean these Houses, has a role in dialling down division. How we behave in here and online is watched. The good example of being able to debate ferociously but disagree respectfully needs to be shown more here.  Too often, our standards fall short,” he said.

Social Democrats Catherine Murphy said that we now live in a “much more divided and unequal world and that there has been a coarsening of political discourse, which has made politics all the more toxic”.  

“A line has been crossed here, however.  We cannot go looking for excuses because there are no excuses for what happened to David Amess,” she said. 

Following tributes to Amess and his family, TDs stood to a observe a moment of silence.

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