FORMER Fine Gael TD Alice Glenn was a formidable woman, as a would-be mugger once found out to his cost.
She was leaving a bank when a motorbike pulled up and a man got off, ran over and grabbed her handbag, her son Liam told her funeral Mass yesterday.
"Alice immediately used her umbrella, and the getaway driver got away. By the time the security men came along, Alice had the man on the ground and he was shouting 'get her off me, she's mad'."
Hundreds of people attended St Columba's Church in Glasnevin, Dublin, to mourn the passing of a woman who achieved a series of notable firsts during her political career.
She was the first woman elected to the Fine Gael national executive, the first woman member of the Dublin Port and Docks Board and the first female chair of the Eastern Health Board.
During the 1980s, she was a thorn in the side of Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald as he embarked on a campaign to liberalise the laws on divorce and contraception.
She defied the party to vote against the government on the wording for an abortion referendum.
Her opposition cost her the party backing. In 1986 she failed to be renominated in Dublin Central, and she resigned from the party the following year. She retired from politics following the loss of her Dublin City Council seat in 1991.
Ms Glenn spent her last years as a resident of Our Lady's Manor Nursing Home in Dalkey, Co Dublin,
Married to Brigadier-General William Glenn, GOC of the Air Corps, she is survived by her two sons Gary and Liam.
"Some of her closest friends were ideological opponents," Liam said. "She died one day short of her 90th birthday, so there's no sadness here."
Those who attended her funeral Mass included former Taoisigh John Bruton and Bertie Ahern; Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Charlie Flanagan; Senator Ronan Mullan; Dublin City Councillor Christy Burke (Ind); former TD Sean Haughey (FF); broadcaster John Bowman; TD Paschal Donohoe (FG), Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett and High Court Judge George Bermingham.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins were represented by their Aide-de-Camps, Commandant Michael Treacy and Commandant Michael Walsh.
Ms Glenn was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.