| 15.4°C Dublin

FF stalwart will have a 'shopping list for God', funeral told

A former TD who helped prop up the Ahern government in the late 1990s was probably in heaven with "a shopping list for God" a priest told mourners at his funeral.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and former ministers Mary Coughlan and Mary Hanafin joined around 2,000 family and friends in final tributes to Harry Blaney at Massmount Chapel on Donegal's Fanad peninsula.

Independent Fianna Fail stalwart Mr Blaney, who was 85, died on Sunday after a short illness. He was one of four independent TDs who supported the government led by Bertie Ahern between 1997 and 2002.

The rift between the two Fianna Fails was finally healed in 2005 by Mr Blaney's son Niall, who held the Donegal North East seat after him. His brother Neil had quit the main party after the 1970s Arms crisis.

But Harry Blaney would be remembered as a decent and humble man who always did his best for the people he served as a politician for 40 years, said Father Patrick McGarvey.

He said Mr Blaney would also be remembered for the €20m bridge, which the Ahern government gave the go-ahead for between the Fanad and Rosguill peninsulas and which is named after him.

"He did all that he did with his famous shopping list, and God help God today because I'm sure he has a list for him too," Fr McGarvey said.

Irish Independent