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 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.