Former Taoiseach John Bruton was a “very good man”, mourners at his funeral have said.
Bruton served as coach from 1994 to 1997.
Mr Bruton’s remains were taken to St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church in Dunboyne, Co Meath on Friday ahead of his funeral mass on Saturday.
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Mr Bruton’s wife Finola, his children Matthew, Juliana, Emily and Mary Elizabeth, his grandchildren and his brother (former minister Richard Bruton) all attended the service.
Former Taoist teacher Enda Kenny said Mr Bruton’s death marked the end of an era and was a “political symbol for County Meath and Ireland”.
Kenney told reporters that Bruton “has been a friend for 50 years and I feel that deeply, but for Finola and his family, it’s the end of an era.”
“Is this an emotional day? I see his face, I hear his voice. I know his heart.
“I’m sure you know that John Bruton was in the room when you were with him.”
A life defined by love
In his graveside speech, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said John Breton’s life was one of “love of his family, love of his county, love of politics, love of our party. “It was defined by love, love of country.”
Leo Varadkar has said John Bruton has been an inspiration to him throughout his career.
Mr Varadkar added: “John loved Ireland. It was a real love, one defined not by hatred or fear of others, but by a genuine love for our country and what we could be. “It was a noble, true, modern form of patriotism.” ”
“Lighthouse of Courage”
He added that John Bruton had changed Ireland considerably for the better.
Leo Varadkar said: “At a time when other countries have desecrated our flag by committing terrorist atrocities in our name, John has been a beacon of courage and integrity, setting forth a vision for an inclusive and peaceful island. “It was,” he said.
“The framework document he negotiated with British Prime Minister John Major contains many elements of what would become the Good Friday Agreement.
“He reached out to the trade unionist community because he truly believed this should be a shared island where all identities are respected and accepted.”
“He served us very well.”
Former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern told reporters: “I served with John in one capacity or another for over 40 years, both in and out of the Dail.”
“I think he has served us very well and has done a tremendous amount of work at home and abroad.When I was the EU ambassador in Washington, I had a lot of business dealings with him. “And he worked incredibly hard,” he added.
The sermon was delivered by Father Bruce Bradley SJ, a friend of the Bruton family, who described the former Dao teacher as “a very good man”, “humble and modest” and “a man of integrity and truth”. Stated.
The priest spoke of his “remarkable…varied and successful career,” which he said was “more than enough to fill many columns.”
Mr Bruton credits his success to Fine Gael’s leadership, the “unexpected” Rainbow Coalition he led in the 1990s, and “patient and pioneering collaboration to enable an end to violence in Northern Ireland.” Father Bradley said the role included “the role of
“In his interactions with those who shared his views and those who did not, he demonstrated an ability to put himself in the other person’s shoes, which was especially important in discussions and negotiations with northern trade unionists. These were great qualities.”
Father Bradley said Mr Bruton was a “seriously religious man” as a Catholic “in a deep sense that is not at all sectarian”, an aspect of his life that “has been largely absent from public commentary.” There is,” he added.
Born in Dublin on 18 May 1947, Mr Bruton was elected to the Dáil in 1969 representing Meath.
As Prime Minister, he led the so-called ‘Rainbow Coalition’ of Fine Gael, Labor and the Democratic Left, but lost the 1997 general election to Bertie Ahern’s Fianna Fáil party.
During his tenure as Taoiseach, he steered the referendum that paved the way for the legalization of divorce in Ireland.
He continued to lead Fine Gael until 2001, after which he served as EU ambassador to the US.