THE wife of former Tanaiste Peter Barry was hailed as a lady "in the very best sense of the word".
Tributes were paid to Margaret Barry (84) at her funeral in Blackrock, Cork, with her son Tony, describing her as a devoted wife and mother who brought joy and laughter into so many lives.
Mrs Barry, who had been ill for some time, died on Saturday in the Bon Secours Hospital.
More than 400 attended her funeral at St Michael's Church, including former Cabinet colleagues of her husband Peter.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who attended Mrs Barry's removal on Monday night, was represented yesterday by his aide-de-camp, Cmdt Michael Treacy.
Peter Barry, who served as a Cork TD for 28 years, held four Cabinet posts over his lengthy career. Mrs Barry saw three members of her family serve as Lord Mayors of Cork – her father-in-law, her husband and her daughter, Deirdre.
Tony Barry, who now runs the family firm Barry's Tea, said his mother brightened so many lives.
"Margaret had a long and happy marriage and we were very fortunate to have her has a mother," he said.
Canon Tadhg O Mathuna said Margaret's pride and joy were her family.
"Her death has left us with a numbness. Peter and Margaret shared so much together. They were immensely proud of their children and their grandchildren. They were a very united family."
The mourners were led by husband Peter and her children, Deirdre, Tony, Fiona, Donagh, Conor and Peter.