Fates forced Cosgrave to fill shoes of his father in march of a nation
The familiar rasping vowel sounds inevitably became weaker as one decade tumbled into the next - but even in his 90s his voice retained its essential waspish texture.
The moustache and the ramrod-like military bearing gave Liam Cosgrave a definable physical presence. In contrast, his father WT Cosgrave was slight of stature - dwarfed by more powerfully built contemporaries like Michael Collins - as reflected in turn-of-the-century photos and newsreels. But it seemed in dress and demeanour, Cosgrave junior was determined to make his mark from a young age.
The tributes have been glowing. The perceived weaknesses and failings of the 97-year-old former Taoiseach, who has crossed the great divide, have been looked on with indulgence. It's as if somebody who for so long triumphed over the travails of time at this juncture deserves a special dispensation when it comes to more quizzical judgment.