Tuesday 25 April 2017

Respect for late minister from all walks of society

Fionnan Sheahan and Fiach Kelly

THE tiny St Mochta's Church was packed to capacity for Brian Lenihan's funeral Mass yesterday, as was the parish hall at the back, with the crowd spilling out into the churchyard and on to the narrow winding road.

The funeral was attended by a wide array of figures from politics, the law, business and the media, as well as hundreds of his Dublin West constituents and friends.

The mourners included President Mary McAleese accompanied by her husband, Senator Martin McAleese, and Aide-de-Camp Col Mick McMahon.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, with Aide-de-Camp Comdt Michael Treacy, arrived with the Cabinet: Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, Joan Burton, Ruairi Quinn, Brendan Howlin, Alan Shatter, Pat Rabbitte, Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald, James Reilly, Jimmy Deenihan, Simon Coveney and Attorney-General Maire Whelan.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, former Taoisigh Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern and former Tanaisti Mary Coughlan and Mary Harney were there, along with Fianna Fail's Pat Carey, Mary Hanafin, Batt O'Keeffe, Willie O'Dea, Tom Kitt and the Green Party's Eamon Ryan and John Gormley.

Fianna Fail TDs Eamon O Cuiv, Brendan Smith, Timmy Dooley, Michael Moynihan, Dara Calleary, Seamus Kirk, Sean Fleming, Charlie McConalogue, Barry Cowen, Niall Collins, Robert Troy, Sean O Fearghail and Micheal Kitt attended, as did senators Darragh O'Brien, Thomas Byrne, Terry Leyden, Marc MacSharry, Averil Power and Diarmuid Wilson.

Former Fianna Fail ministers, TDs and senators Sean Power, Beverly Flynn, Donie Cassidy, Don Lydon, Michael Woods, Sean Connick, Michael Ahern, Noel Ahern, Margaret Conlon, Rory O'Hanlon, Sean Haughey, John Moloney, Dick Roche, Frank Fahey, Noel Treacy, Niall Blaney and MJ Nolan were in the congregation.

Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett and Seanad Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke attended.

Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, finance minister Sammy Wilson and SDLP MP Alisdair McDonnell came south for the funeral.

Three former finance ministers, Alan Dukes, Michael O'Kennedy and Ray MacSharry, were there, as were former ministers Gerry Collins, Brendan Daly and Liz O'Donnell.

European Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, former European Commissioner Peter Sutherland and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development board member Eoin Ryan were present.

Also at the funeral were Central Bank governor Prof Patrick Honohan, businessman Denis O'Brien, Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd managing editor Michael Denieffe, Fine Gael adviser Frank Flannery, Fianna Fail general secretary Sean Dorgan and his predecessor Martin Macken and former government press secretary PJ Mara.

TDs present included Fine Gael junior minister Michael Ring, Olivia Mitchell, Anthony Lawlor, Peter Mathews, Eoghan Murphy and Bernard Durkan, along with former TD Jim O'Keeffe, Labour's Michael McNamara, Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Dessie Ellis and Independents Mattie McGrath, Catherine Murphy, Shane Ross and Michael Healy-Rae. Members of the Seanad included Ivana Bacik and Eamonn Coghlan.

Departmental secretaries-general Dermot Gallagher, Kevin Cardiff and David Cooney, Ambassador Rory Montgomery, former government advisers Brian Murphy, Cathy Herbert, Joe Lennon, Alan Ahearne and Deirdre Gillane, trade unionists Jack O'Connor and Blair Horan, lawyers Conor Maguire and Noel Whelan were there.

Presidential hopefuls Labour's Michael D Higgins, Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness, Barnardo's chief executive Fergus Finlay, Independent Senator David Norris and businessman Sean Gallagher were all in attendance.

Among the members of the judiciary present were Chief Justice John Murray, Supreme Court judge William McKechnie and retired Chief Justice Ronan Keane; High Court judges George Birmingham, John MacMenamin, Maureen Clarke and Henry Abbott; Circuit Court judges Esmond Smyth, Anthony Kennedy, Petria McDonnell, Alison Lindsay, Joseph Matthews, Cornelius Murphy and District Court judges Bridget Reilly, Sean MacBride and Paul Kelly.

Irish Independent

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