Mourners line the streets to pay respects to late TD Nicky
LONG queues of TDs and senators formed in Athlone on the banks of the river Shannon for the removal of deputy Nicky McFadden who lost her battle with motor neurone disease.
The 51-year-old mother of two was diagnosed with the illness two years ago, and died on Tuesday. Her funeral takes place today.
Senator Hildegarde Naughton paid her respects to the late TD yesterday, as did Labour deputy Willie Penrose.
Also in attendance was Fine Gael senator Colm Burke and Fine Gael TD James Bannon as was Westmeath County Manager Pat Gallagher.
Mourners queued for hours to say goodbye to Ms McFadden as she reposed yesterday afternoon.
"She brings her goodness with her to that place of life and light beyond the darkness. Nicky was a woman of great joy and I know she will bring that joy with her to her new life, her new place," Mr Kenny stated.
Mr Higgins said "she made an outstanding contribution as a senator and a deputy and showed immense courage in continuing her public service after having been diagnosed with a serious illness".
Queues also formed at Athlone's civic offices yesterday as the council opened a book of condolences for the late TD.
The council has expressed its sincere sympathy to the mayor of Athlone, Cllr Gabrielle McFadden – the late deputy's sister – and to the McFadden family on her death.
She is also survived by her daughter Caren and son Eoin.
Ms McFadden last year spoke of her shock at being diagnosed with the disease, promising to press ahead with her public duties as a TD. She admitted that her two children had been "devastated" by the news.
Ms McFadden's funeral is at 12pm today in Our Lady Queen of Peace Church.