Tuesday, March 5, 2024

John Bruton ‘changed Ireland for the better’ reported at state funeral – Irish Times

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State funeral for former Taoist leader John Bruton John Bruton was described as an “extraordinary man” who changed Ireland “for the better”, we hear.

On Saturday, after a funeral mass at St Peter and Paul’s Church, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar spoke at the former Fine Gael leader’s grave at Luske Cemetery in Dunboyne.

President Michael D Higgins, Mr Varadkar, Tánaiste Michael Martin and Attorney-General Rossa Fanning also paid their respects, as well as former Taoists Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and Enda Kenny. Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill, Deputy First Minister Emma Littlepengelly and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Principal mourners included Mr Bruton’s wife Finola, his children Matthew, Juliana, Emily and Mary-Elizabeth, his grandchildren and his brother Fine Gael TD Richard Bruton.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the church, with traffic diversions in place around town, and watched the funeral, which was broadcast live on large screens.

Mr Bruton’s coffin was draped in the tricolor in accordance with state funeral rites, and around 180 members of the Defense Forces took part in the ceremony.

Mr Varadkar described Mr Bruton as an “always and forever leader” and a “statesman of unwavering integrity and moral conviction who led our country with great performance on the national and world stage”. did.

He said that Won Daoist’s life was defined by love: “love for family, love for the county, love for politics, love for the party, love for the motherland,” and that the center of his life was his wife and children. He said it was the first time.

Mr Varadkar also said Mr Bruton loved politics and believed it was the best way to achieve real and lasting positive change.

He said the former Fine Gael leader had been a source of inspiration for him throughout his career and that his love for Ireland was defined by “noble, true, modern patriotism”.

“At a time when other countries have desecrated our flag by committing terrorist atrocities in the name of our country, John has been a beacon of courage and integrity, offering a vision for an inclusive and peaceful island. “,” Mr Varadkar said.

Mr Varadkar concluded his remarks by saying Mr Bruton was a man of hope, ideas and faith who changed Ireland and “changed it quite a bit for the better”.

Father Bruce Bradley, in his funeral Mass homily, said Mr. Bruton was “honest, honorable, patient and patient, courageous and devoted” and, as the Taoist had previously said, “even if it goes against the grain. He was a person who was willing to take the initiative even when it came to things.

Father Bradley added that he was “humble and unassuming” and a “honest and true” man. He also highlighted Mr Bruton’s “remarkable” political career, which began at the age of 22, his leadership of the Fine Gael Party, the “unexpected success” of the Rainbow Coalition and his subsequent role as EU ambassador to the US. Mentioned.

Fr Bradley said the former Taoiseach was an “instinctual and thoughtful Catholic” who was “rooted in his faith”.

“You can’t really understand his life any other way,” he said.

“This was not a slogan faith, but a thoughtful faith lived in his actions and choices, and a faith in justice expressed in his public life.”

Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath, said the Christian principles of co-operation, dialogue, fairness and respect were evident in Mr Bruton’s work in relation to Northern Ireland and Europe.

Bishop Deenihan added: “This aspect of his vision and work is best expressed in the eloquent and simple words used by many people from all backgrounds over the past few days: ‘He was a decent human being.’ ” This is the highest honor in rural Ireland. ”

Mr. Bruton’s grandchildren, Robin and Oliver, brought gifts to the altar, including family photos and his book, “Faith in Politics.”

Daughters Juliana and Mary Elizabeth gave readings, while brother Richard and sister Mary read prayers.

Finbar Wright and Lisa Lambe sang hymns, and Mr Bruton’s daughter Emily read Henry Scott Holland’s poem “Death is Nothing.”

After the mass, members of the Armed Forces carried Mr Bruton’s coffin in a rifle car to the Rusk cemetery, where mourners followed and full military honors were given at the graveside.

Among those attending the funeral were Helen McEntee, Pascal Donohoe, Simon Coveney, Simon Harris, Charlie McConalogue, Jack Chambers, Thomas Byrne, Nora Owen, Michael Noonan and Alan. Also included were current and former ministers including Dukes, Ivan Yates and Phil Hogan.

A number of current Fine Gael and Meath TDs were in attendance, as were Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and Labor leader Ivana Bacic.

Mr Bruton, who led Fine Gael from 1990 to 2001, died on Tuesday at the age of 76 after a long illness. He led the Rainbow Coalition government, which also included Labor and the Democratic Left, from December 1994 to June 1997, and was succeeded as leader by Michael Noonan in January 2001.

The former Meath TD was the EU ambassador to the US from 2004 to 2009.

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