Taoiseach's praise for devoted Garret
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny last night recalled how the late Dr Garret FitzGerald used to leave party meetings like "an Olympic sprinter" to help out his wife.
Mr Kenny spoke about the devotion that Dr FitzGerald had for his wife Joan, who passed away more than a decade before his death last May.
He said that he had taken a phone call during a parliamentary party meeting from Joan, who told him "will you tell Garret I can't get into the house".
"I communicated this to leader of Fine Gael and he left that room like an Olympic sprinter," Mr Kenny said.
He was speaking last night at the launch of a new version of Dr FitzGerald's autobiography, 'Just Garret', in the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin.
Those present included Dr FitzGerald's three children as well as Finance Minister Michael Noonan and former Fine Gael general secretary Peter Prendergast.
Mr Kenny said that Dr FitzGerald had sent a letter to his father Henry, then a TD for Mayo, seeking his support to get elected to the Seanad in 1969. But he noted how the famously absent-minded politician had only written half the letter and had also forgotten to sign it.
"He was clearly in a hurry. You really would be in awe of his engine and his mental capacity," he said.