Lawyer, international statesman and global businessman, Peter Sutherland, is laid to rest
Peter Sutherland was recalled as a “loving family man” and someone who did many “hidden acts of philanthropy.”
Hundreds of people representing the law, business, politics, diplomacy and charitable organisations, thronged Donnybrook Church, in Dublin, to pay a final tribute to Ireland’s best known international statesman and global business mogul.
There was also a strong representation from the rugby fraternity and a guard of honour was provided by former players, some of them team colleagues, from Landsdowne RFC and UCD rugby club.
Mr Sutherland, who died on Sunday aged 71, had been by turns a top-flight lawyer, Attorney General, EU Commissioner, World Trade Organisation head, and UN migration envoy, as well as very a successful world business person. He lost a 15-month battle with illness never having recovered from a heart attack sustained in London in September 2016.
Principal celebrant at the requiem mass, Fr Noel Barber of the Jesuits, recalled a relationship which went back to 1961 when the priest was a young teacher and Peter Sutherland was already a very confident schoolboy and rugby captain.
Fr Barber said Mr Sutherland remained loyal throughout his life to his old school, Gonzaga, and to the Jesuits. He said Peter Sutherland’s intense Catholic faith was “open, tolerant and generous.”
“He did extensive acts of hidden philanthropy,” Fr Barber added. He also noted his dedication to campaigning for migrant rights.
Former criminal lawyer and judge of the High Court and Appeals Court, Garrett Sheehan, also recalled him from the earliest days as captain and front row on the Gonzaga under-eight rugby side. “He was no saint and he could be a very demanding captain who took time to reconcile himself to being gracious in defeat,” Mr Sheehan said.
President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attended. Also present were government ministers, Paschal Donohoe and Eoghan Murphy. Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was there as was Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, and EU Commissioner Phil Hogan.
The attendance also included former EU Commissioner and Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, and a large number of judges, former judges and senior lawyers.
Representatives from the world of business included Denis O’Brien, Declan Ganley and Tony Barry.
The Fine Gael party, with whom Mr Sutherland was associated, was strongly represented including Bernard Durkan TD and Senator Neal Richmond. Others present included Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan, and Independent Dublin city councillor, Mannix Flynn.
Mr Sutherland’s remains were this afternoon laid to rest at Kilternan Cemetery.