Sunday 28 December 2014

Crowds pay final respects to former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds

Published 23/08/2014 | 15:25

THE congregation at the removal of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds has heard that he was a man who “wholeheartedly enjoyed the realities of life” and had "engaged with passion, purpose, enormous energy and courage.”

Amongst the hundreds who attended the service at Donnybrook church were former Taoisigh John Bruton, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen and current Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Also present was Micheal Martin, Charlie McCreavy and Albert Reynold’s nephew, businessman John Reynolds.

As the remains arrived at the church and were escorted in by military guard of honour, some Reynolds family members became emotional.

The Removal of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds from in the Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin yesterday
(Saturday).
Picture By David Conachy. 23/8/2014
The Removal of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds from in the Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin yesterday (Saturday). Picture By David Conachy. 23/8/2014
Wife of Albert Reynolds, Kathleen, being comforted at his removal
The Removal of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds from in the Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin Picture By David Conachy. 23/8/2014
Albert Reynolds removal. Maxwell Photography
23/08/2014. Pictured the remains of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds are removed from the Mansion House by members of the Irish Military followed closely by family members as they make their way to the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured the remains of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds are removed from the Mansion House by members of the Irish Military followed closely by family members as they make their way to the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is the book of condolence outside the Mansion House, alongside mourners who came to say their last goodbyes to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is former Junior Minister Noel Treacy outside the Mansion House, to say his last goodbye to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is former chief whip, John Curran outside the Mansion House, alongside mourners who came to say their last goodbyes to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured are the queues formed outside the Mansion House, to say their last goodbyes to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is An Taoiseach Enda Kenny leaving the formal reception of former Taoiseach Albert Reynold's remains at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is former TD Pat Carey outside the Mansion House, alongside mourners who came to say their last goodbyes to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is Minister for Agriculture, Food and The Marine, Simon Coveney outside the Mansion House, alongside mourners who came to say their last goodbyes to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is Olivia O'Leary, speaking with Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin outside the Mansion House, alongside mourners who came to say their last goodbyes to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern leaving the formal reception of former Taoiseach Albert Reynold's remains at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured is former Taoiseach Brian Cowen leaving the formal reception of former Taoiseach Albert Reynold's remains at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. Pictured members of the public paid their last respects at the Mansion House, to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
Willie O'Dea (centre) arrives to pay his final respects to former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds as his body lies in state in the Oak Room Mansion House, Dublin. Picture By David Conachy. 23/08/2014
Members of the public file past the remains of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds lying in repose in the Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin yesterday (Saturday). Picture By Davfid Conachy. 23/8/2014
23/08/2014. Pictured is former Minister Noel Dempsey joins the queue formed outside the Mansion House, to say his last goodbyes to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
Picture shows members of the public filing past former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds as he lies in state at the Mansion House Dublin . PIC: MAXWELLS DUBLIN
23/08/2014. PICTURE MAXWELLS/Julien Behal DUBLIN - IRISH GOVERNMENT POOL PICTURE. Picture shows members of the public filing past former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds as he lies in state at the Mansion House Dublin . PIC: MAXWELLS/Julien Behal DUBLIN - IRISH GOVERNMENT POOL PICTURE 23/08/2014.
Picture shows members of the public filing past former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds as he lies in state at the Mansion House Dublin . PIC: MAXWELLS/Julien Behal DUBLIN - IRISH GOVERNMENT POOL PICTURE 23/08/2014.
23/08/2014. Pictured are the queues formed outside the Mansion House, to say their last goodbyes to the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is lying in repose in the Oak room till the formal reception of his remains takes place at the Sacred Heart Church this evening. Photo: El Keegan
23/08/2014. PICTURE MAXWELLS DUBLIN - IRISH GOVERNMENT POOL PICTURE. Picture shows members of the public filing past former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds as he lies in state at the Mansion House Dublin . PIC: MAXWELLS/Julien Behal DUBLIN - IRISH GOVERNMENT POOL PICTURE 23/08/2014.

The mass heard that Mr Reynolds had been rooted in the realities of his life.

These had included Rooskey, Longford, work, music, Kathleen and their children, mourners heard.

His political life as a TD had seen him serve in a variety of departments and finally as taoiseach, the parish priest said.

Earlier today crowds of people lined up outside the Mansion House in Dublin to pay their final respects to him.

His widow, Kathleen, and the Reynolds family had some private time alone in their grief before the formal State ceremony began.

Shortly after 1pm, the Mansion House opened to the public.

Mr Reynolds was lying in repose in the Oak Room. 

He looked peaceful and serene, laid out in a grey suit, white shirt and blue patterned tie and gold cuff links.

Rosary beads were entwined in his hands. A candle burned on a table nearby and people had left bundles of  Mass cards.

"Good man, Albert," murmured a man at the coffin side.

By afternoon, at least 1,000 people had  turned out to say goodbye.

Amongst them were former Fianna Fáil ministers Willie O'Dea, Noel Dempsey, Noel Treacy and former TDs Sean Haughey, GV Wright and senator Eddie Bohan.

Mr Dempsey said he was saying goodbye to "a friend", adding: "He gave me my first start when he gave me the whip."

Legendary broadcaster Micheal O Muircheartaigh, renowned musician Paddy Cole and country singer TR Dallas were also in attendance.

Next door neighbour from Longford, Margaret Brown said: "I'm very sad today. I knew Albert going to school."

"We are very proud of him in Longford. He did a lot of work for the town," she added.

"He had no airs or graces and he never changed."

Margaret Nolan, who said her father, Matthew was a great friend of the former Taoiseach said he had been a remarkable man.

Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke was shaking the hands of those who had come to pay their respects, saying: "It's only right and proper to acknowledge the public presence here today to pay respect to a Taoiseach who did so much, especially the peace process."

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin also attended the Mansion House.

Mr Martin revealed that he had last seen Mr Reynolds over a year ago.

"I always found him to be a very warm and engaging man. He was very accessible to young TDs all the time," he said, adding that he had given him "plenty of advice."

"He had a great enthusiasm for politics," he said.

Fine Gael's Phil Hogan described Mr Reynolds as "a simple countryman who was very much underestimated by people of all walks of life - but particularly politics."

He had known the former Taoiseach in a private capacity "very well," he said - revealing that they had shared a love of horses.

Fr Brian D'Arcy also attended the Mansion House for prayers with the Reynolds family.

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