Monday 26 September 2016

Former Taoisigh among mourners at burial of PJ Mara

Published 17/01/2016 | 16:46

The remains of Pj Mara are brought for burial at Mount Cross Cemeterery, Kinvara, Co Galway.
Pic:Mark Condren
The remains of Pj Mara are brought for burial at Mount Cross Cemeterery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Pic:Mark Condren
Sheila Tormey partner of Pj Mara at his burial in Mount Cross Cemeterery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Pic:Mark Condren
Sheila Tormey partner of Pj Mara at his burial in Mount Cross Cemeterery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Pic:Mark Condren
Former Ministers Ray MacSharry on right and Ned O'Keeffe at the burial of Pj Mara at Mount Cross Cemeterery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Pic:Mark Condren
John Mara son of Pj Mara at his fathers burial at Mount Cross Cemetery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Pic:Mark Condren
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the burial of Pj Mara at Mount Cross Cemeterery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Pic:Mark Condren

FORMER Taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen were amongst mourners who gathered for a final farewell as the body of PJ Mara was laid to rest, alongside his late wife, Breda, in a quiet country churchyard.

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A large circle of close friends and loved ones made the journey to Mount Cross cemetery in Kinvara, Co Galway amid steadily drenching rain.

The coffin was draped in a tricolour which was then removed and folded in strict observance of protocol before being presented to Mr Mara’s son, John.

The Taoiseach was represented by his ADC, Comdt Kieran Carey.

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the burial of Pj Mara at Mount Cross Cemeterery, Kinvara, Co Galway.
Pic:Mark Condren
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the burial of Pj Mara at Mount Cross Cemeterery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Pic:Mark Condren

Amongst those also present were General Secretary of Fianna Fail, Sean Dorgan,  businessman Denis O’Brien, former EU Commissioner and Finance Minister Ray McSharry,  former Minister Ned O’Keeffe, former FF Senator Martin Mackin, former FF TD Brendan Daly, former Fianna Fail election agent Chris Wall and Mark Killilea – former MEP.

Sean O’Rourke and David Davin-Power of RTE were in attendance, as was economist Colm McCarthy and John McNamara, Director of the Galway University Foundation – to which Mr Mara had given invaluable advice about fundraising and profile.

Raglan Road and Lord Lovett’s Lament was played by a lone piper as Mr Mara was laid to rest in the rocky Galway soil, with sweeping Burren views.

There was an emotional round of applause as Michael Brogan – Mr Mara’s brother-in-law -  sang The Tide Full In by local poet and songwriter, Francis Fahy, whose best known work is The Auld Plaid Shawl.

John Mara son of Pj Mara at his fathers burial at Mount Cross Cemetery, Kinvara, Co Galway.
Pic:Mark Condren
John Mara son of Pj Mara at his fathers burial at Mount Cross Cemetery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Pic:Mark Condren

Fr Frank Larkin of St Joseph’s in Galway and formerly of Kinvara parish said the people of Kinvara had known PJ Mara well “and enjoyed his company so much.”

He said he would be laid to rest with his wife, Breda, and commented on the headstone which Mr Mara had personally commissioned – a granite slab with a flight of doves depicted in bronze, rising up towards the skies – made by well-known Galway sculptor John Coll.

Afterwards, mourners gathered for one last party at Mr Mara’s house down at the quay in Kinvara, overlooking Dunguaire Castle.

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