Belfast Telegraph

Hundreds gather to mourn Brian Lenihan

More than 1,000 mourners have gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of Republic's former finance minister Brian Lenihan.

Family members were joined by President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Cabinet colleagues for the requiem mass at St Mochta's Church, Porterstown, west Dublin.

Mr Lenihan died last Friday aged 52 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Friends, colleagues and constituents applauded warmly as the former minister's family arrived at the small church for the service.

Fr Eugene Kennedy, a family friend and retired parish priest, told mourners Mr Lenihan had suffered a cruel irony after supporting the development of St Francis Hospice's new facility in Blanchardstown only to be cared for by its staff.

"The new Blanchardstown hospice will remain a monument to his work and what a cruel irony he was among its first home care patients," the priest said.

Well-known figures from politics, the law, industry and society attended the service, including a large number of former government and Fianna Fail party colleagues such as former taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen.

Mr Lenihan was buried after the mass in a private ceremony at St David's Church graveyard, Kilsallaghan.

Thousands of people queued over the weekend and Monday to pay their respects at Mr Lenihan's office in Castleknock and also at Government Buildings, following a request to open a book of condolence from the Taoiseach.

Mr Lenihan's coffin, draped in the Irish Tricolour, was brought to the small chapel under military escort on Monday night after the Defence Forces offered to support the family and Fianna Fail party in arrangements. The flag will be folded and presented to family members as the respected minister is laid to rest.

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