Family were by ex-Taoiseach's side when he passed away
Published 25/08/2014 | 02:30
Former US Ambassador Jean Kennedy-Smith called Kathleen Reynolds to express her sympathies at the loss of her husband, Albert Reynolds.
It has also emerged the entire family were with Mr Reynolds at his home when he passed away in the early hours of Thursday morning.
"He had been seriously ill for some time. He became bad on Tuesday. On Wednesday, everyone was asked to come back. Everybody made it. They were all with him at the end," a family friend said.
The friend said the Reynolds' family have been greatly comforted by the amount of good wishes being expressed from people all over the country.
"Under the circumstances they are doing well and are very comforted by the amount of support they have received," the friend said.
Mrs Kennedy-Smith, the last surviving sibling of former US President John F Kennedy, called Mrs Reynolds at the weekend as she will be unable to attend the funeral. She was appointed as US Ambassador to Ireland while Mr Reynolds was serving as Taoiseach and went on to play an important role in the Northern Ireland peace process.
'Lord of the Dance' Michael Flatley also called the family to express his condolences. Former British Prime Minister John Major will be in Dublin to attend the funeral today.
After the removal on Saturday night, Mrs Reynolds stayed at the church until 10pm meeting sympathisers. The family attended regular Sunday mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, Dublin 4 where Mr Reynolds coffin rests ahead of today's funeral.