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Friday 30 September 2016

Justice Minister in emotional farewell to mum full of 'wit, charm and grace'

Published 18/08/2015 | 02:30

Phil Hogan consoles Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald at the funeral of her mother, Anna Ryan at St Conleth’s Church, Newbridge, Co Kildare.
Phil Hogan consoles Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald at the funeral of her mother, Anna Ryan at St Conleth’s Church, Newbridge, Co Kildare.
Senator Catherine Zappone with wife Anne Louise Gilligan
FG councillor Kenny Egan

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald paid an emotional final farewell to her beloved mother on what was also the ninth anniversary of the death of her father.

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Anna Ryan passed away on Friday, surrounded by family, at her home in Newbridge, Co Kildare. She was 95.

She was remembered at her funeral service in St Conleth's Church as "a good woman" who had never lost her traditional values, while also possessing "wit, charm and grace".

In her health, Anna had been a familiar face at the church alongside her husband, Tadhg - who had been an officer with the Defence Forces. Chief Celebrant Fr Joe McDermott recalled the couple "were always together."

"Her job in life was to be a wife and mother but it was not just a job - it was a real vocation," he said.

With a voice that shook with emotion, the Justice Minister said a prayer for all who had loved her, especially "the four friends who had shared many Tuesday afternoon poker games - and of whom Anna was the last".

And then, the family gathered together for one last time to walk some distance in the sunshine, accompanying the coffin to St Conleth's cemetery. Chief mourners were Mrs Ryan's three daughters, Frances, Edel and Caitriona, and her son Finian, as well as her eight grandchildren.

The President Michael D Higgins was represented by Aide de Camp David Lyons while the Taoiseach Enda Kenny was represented by Aide de Camp Kieran Carey.

Amongst those from the political arena were the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan; Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness; Finance Minister Michael Noonan; and political consultant Frank Flannery.

TDs Dara Murphy, Jim Daly, Helen McEntee, Simon Harris, Anthony Lawlor, Martin Heydon and Peter Fitzpatrick were present.

Also in attendance were Senators Averil Power and Katherine Zappone; former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes; former Justice Minister Nora Owen; along with Cllr Kenneth Egan, the former Olympic medal-winning boxer, and media consultant Terry Prone.

Irish Independent

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