Wednesday 24 January 2018

Cosgrave laid to rest in simple ceremony devoid of pomp

FOND FAREWELL: Mourners at the funeral of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave at the Church of the Annunciation in Rathfarnham yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
FOND FAREWELL: Mourners at the funeral of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave at the Church of the Annunciation in Rathfarnham yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

The former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave was laid to rest yesterday in Dublin in the way he wanted - with a simple religious ceremony and none of the trappings or pomp of a State funeral.

Mr Cosgrave, who led the country through one of the most turbulent periods in recent history, was buried after a solemn Requiem Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Rathfarnham.

His coffin was carried into the packed church by six soldiers from the Second Military Police and carried from it by his sons Liam and Ciaran and family members, with his daughter Mary following.

Among the mourners were the last three surviving ministers to serve in his cabinet, Richie Ryan, Paddy Cooney and Tom O'Donnell.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was flanked in the church by former taoisigh, Enda Kenny, Brian Cowen, Bertie Ahern and John Bruton.

As well as many friends the congregation included prominent figures from the political and legal establishment.

Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave
Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave

"One might disagree with his views, but nobody would ever doubt his integrity," said Monsignor John Wilson, who celebrated the mass with Fr Martin Cosgrove and Fr Michael Reynolds. Monsignor Wilson said Liam Cosgrave "loved family, country and faith, he was a patriot in the best sense of the word". The final commendation was given by Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin. The only ornamentation was organist Marie Cruise's rendition of Gabriel's Oboe from the film The Mission during the communion rite.

Afterwards the remains of Liam Cosgrave were borne to Goldenbridge Cemetery in Inchicore where he was laid to rest with his father William T Cosgrave, his mother Louisa and his wife Vera.

Among the mourners were EU Commissioner Phil Hogan and the Sinn Fein Lord Mayor of Dublin Micheal Mac Donncha, and Ceann Comhairle Sean O'Fearghail. The Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin, former SDLP leader Seamus Mallon and the Chancellor of the National University of Ireland Maurice Manning were also present.

Former government ministers included Barry Desmond, Gerry Collins, Sean Barrett, Monica Barnes, Dessie O'Malley, Mary Harney, Alan Dukes, Joan Burton, Michael Noonan, George Birmingham, Martin Mansergh, Jimmy Deenihan, James Reilly, Nora Owen, Charlie McCreevy, David Andrews, Pat Rabbitte, Lucinda Creighton and Eoin Ryan. Serving politicians included Frances Fitzgerald, Richard Bruton, Simon Coveney and Charlie Flanagan, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Simon Harris, Paschal Donohoe, Regina Doherty and Paul Kehoe.

Sunday Independent

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