Fianna Fail out in force for funeral of ex-TD Fitzpatrick
SENIOR Fianna Fail party members, past and present, yesterday lined up to pay their last respects to former Kildare TD Michael Fitzpatrick.
Mr Fitzpatrick (69) died on Friday from motor neuron disease, an incurable illness which he had been diagnosed with in March 2010.
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, current party leader Micheal Martin and former Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy were among the mourners at yesterday's funeral Mass in Allenwood, Co Kildare.
A former Garda, Mr Fitzpatrick worked as a constituency organiser for Mr McCreevy for 15 years.
Originally from Maudabawn, Cootehill, Co Cavan, he won his Dail seat in Kildare North in 2007, but lost it this year.
Mr Fitzpatrick's son Daragh paid tribute to his father, who he said was a "loyal party man".
He said that Mr Fitzpatrick had proofread the final draft of his memoirs at the kitchen table only last Sunday.
"We are saying goodbye with heavy hearts, but we didn't want him to be in pain any longer," he said.
Former government chief whip Pat Carey paid tribute to Mr Fitzpatrick's decision to run in the last election.
"One of the bravest decisions that he made -- many of us thought he was foolish to do it -- was to contest the election again; very admirable," he said.