Friendship was Ann's consolation in adversity, funeral told
Published 29/10/2016 | 02:30
Two books which her family felt epitomised Ann Lenihan's life were placed on the altar at her parish church in Castleknock for the duration of her funeral Mass.
First was the 'Prayer Book of St Therese of Lisieux', which she used every day of her life. The other was the memoir 'Letters of My Life' by her sister-in-law and best friend, Mary O'Rourke. She was reading this when she was stricken by her short and final illness.
The celebrant said Mrs Lenihan, widow of former Tánaiste Brian Lenihan Snr and mother of former finance minister Brian Jnr, set great store by friendship.
"Friendship was Ann Lenihan's great consolation in adversity," Fr Denis O'Connor said.
Fr O'Connor, a long-time family friend, said local people in Castleknock noted how "Mrs Lenihan had a word for everybody".
He said Mrs Lenihan and her family had been struck by difficulty in their lives - but her faith, prayer and spirituality always gave her strength.
Mrs Lenihan, who died on Tuesday aged 79, was laid to rest yesterday in her native Athlone, close to her late husband, who died in 1995 aged 64, and their son Mark, who died in 1965 at the age of five.
At the mass, neighbours and friends were joined by senior politicians from all parties but predominantly from Fianna Fáil.
Party leader Micheál Martin was joined by Denis O'Donovan, Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, and former EU Commissioner Ray MacSharry, along with party TDs Jack Chambers, John Curran and Fiona O'Loughlin.
Fianna Fáil general secretary Seán Dorgan and his predecessor Pat Farrell attended, as did local TDs, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael and Joan Burton of Labour.
President Michael D Higgins was represented by his ADC, Lieutenant Commander Patricia Butler.
Eight priests joined in concelebrating the requiem mass at the church of Our Lady Mother of the Church in Castleknock, west Dublin.
Special prayers were said for sons Mark and Brian Jnr, who died in 2011 of cancer, the disease which had claimed his father.