Taoiseach leads tributes to 'a wonderful woman'
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny yesterday led tributes to Florence Noonan, wife of Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore also said his sympathies were with the Noonan family, as did Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.
Mrs Noonan (68) contracted pneumonia two weeks ago and died surrounded by her family at the Milford Care Centre in Castletroy, Limerick, late Thursday night.
Mrs Noonan, who played an active part in her husband's political career until the onset of her illness, is also survived by her five children, Tim, John, Michael, Orla and Deirdre.
Mr Kenny passed on his condolences during his trip to Rome to meet Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
"On behalf of my Government and the people, I express my sympathy to him and his family at this very sad time for them," Mr Kenny said.
Mr Martin said he was "deeply saddened" to hear of Mrs Noonan's death.
"Michael has spoken publicly in the past about the brave battle his wife has had with her condition over many years and I know this was warmly appreciated by many families across the country in similar circumstances," Mr Martin added.
Mrs Noonan's removal will take place in Limerick this evening, and her funeral will be held in St Paul's church in Dooradoyle tomorrow, followed by burial at Mount Trenchard Cemetery.
Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Charlie Flanagan said the thoughts of all party members were with Mr Noonan.