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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Funeral held for last child of de Valera

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

THE grandson of the last surviving daughter of Eamon de Valera attended her funeral yesterday -- just 24 hours after winning an All- Ireland final in Croke Park.

Eamon O Cuiv, who shares the same name as his father, the former Fianna Fail cabinet minister Eamon O Cuiv, gave one of the readings at the funeral Mass for the late Emer I Chuiv (93).

He had played a key role at midfield for Clonbur, the Galway football club which won the All- Ireland Junior Football title in Croke Park the previous day. And as a mark of respect to the late Emer I Chuiv, the entire Clonbur football team turned up at her funeral Mass in St Mary's Church, Haddington Road, Dublin 4, yesterday.

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, current Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and former Arts Minister Sile de Valera -- a first cousin of Mr O Cuiv -- were among the mourners.

Despite the number of politicians at the funeral Mass and the de Valera family, the focus of the Mass was on Emer I Chuiv's strong religious faith rather than politics.

The chief celebrant at the Mass was one of her nine children, Fr Shan O Cuiv, who said his mother was back in the same church where she had made her first holy communion and prayed so regularly.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins were represented by their respective aides-de-camp Comdt Michael Treacy and Comdt Michael Walsh.

Past and present Fianna Fail TDs in attendance included Timmy Dooley, Michael McGrath and Michael Moynihan, Noel Treacy, Frank Fahey, Margaret Conlon, John Curran and Charlie O'Connor.

Emer I Chuiv was born in 1918. Her famous father Eamon was in jail in Lincoln Prison in England and only saw her for the first time six months later after his famous escape. She was married to the Irish language professor Brian O Cuiv, who died in 1999.

Their passion for the Irish language was reflected in the fact that almost the entire Mass was conducted 'as Gaeilge'.

Irish Independent

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