Wednesday 13 December 2017

Last surviving sibling of Charlie Haughey has died aged 82

Fr Eoghan best remembered for public defense of his brother

Charlie Haughey' s brother Fr Eoghan Haughey admiring bronze bust of former Taoiseach
Charlie Haughey' s brother Fr Eoghan Haughey admiring bronze bust of former Taoiseach
John Downing

John Downing

Eoghan Haughey, the last surviving sibling of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey, has died aged 82.

Fr Haughey, an Oblate priest, passed away at the order’s residence the House of Retreat, in Inchicore, Dublin. He was the last member of the six Haughey siblings who lived most of their young lives at the family home in Donnycarney.

Fr Haughey is best remembered in the public mind as leading the requiem mass for his older brother in June 2006.  During this he launched a strong defense of the man who had polarised opinion over his long and controversial career.

Rev Eoghan Haughey stressed Charlie Haughey’s charity towards those in need which he argued was central to God’s forgiveness.  He also recalled his brother’s matter-of-fact courage in the face of his final illness, and the bravery he had shown many times during myriad political and personal difficulties he faced.

The priest recalled being summoned by Charlie Haughey to be told of the upcoming funeral arrangements.

"About the funeral. It will be in Donnycarney. You will do it and you will do it with all prayerful dignity," Fr Haughey told the funeral congregation in 2006.

He also compared his brother, known in family circles as Cathal, to the great Ulster warrior hero Cú Chulainn.  A sculpture of the mythical hero stood on the lawns at Mr Haughey's then-opulent home, Abbeville, at Kinsealy, Co Dublin.

"It's a wooden statue and it's carved out of an elm tree off the estate that fell down in a storm. I think that's typical of Cathal. He had created something magnificent out of disaster.

"That was one of the great lessons of his life, I think, to overcome adversity, not to quit, not to whinge or moan," Fr Haughey said.

The priest said a deep wound ran through the statue. "It's a crack in the wood, like an old battle scar. CJ had come through many battles but there were no scars - the wounds had healed. There was no bitterness, thank God, no self-pity," Fr Haughey insisted.

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