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The funeral of former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald has taken place

The funeral of former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald has taken place

Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin arrive for the funeral of former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald

Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin arrive for the funeral of former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and wife Fionnuala arrives for the funeral of former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and wife Fionnuala arrives for the funeral of former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald

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The funeral of former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald has taken place

Former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald woke in "his final agony" to see the culmination of his work when the Queen met President Mary McAleese on Irish soil, his state funeral heard.

Lifelong friend Fr Enda McDonagh recalled the poignant moment to hundreds mourning the 85-year-old, remembered for making a lasting contribution to peace between Ireland and Britain.

The former Fine Gael leader who helped negotiate the Anglo-Irish Agreement died just hours after the Queen made an historic reconciliation speech in Dublin Castle, made possible by the 1985 accord.

"By some miracle of insight ... he woke up in his final agony, in a way, to see the Queen and President on the television on Tuesday night, 36 hours before he died," Fr McDonagh said. "It was the culmination of what he had, for so long, strove. We are grateful for that."

Tributes poured in for the man known as Garret the Good following his death last Thursday morning after a short illness.

The 85-year-old politician, journalist and economist led two governments in the 1980s.

Mrs McAleese, who hosted last week's landmark address during the Queen's four day visit to the Irish Republic, said Mr FitzGerald's crowning achievement was the Anglo-Irish treaty with Margaret Thatcher, which paved the way for the Good Friday Agreement.

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The Queen also offered her personal sympathies, describing the former leader as a true statesman.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President McAleese joined hundreds at the Sacred Heart Church in south Dublin to hear the former Fine Gael leader praised for his intellect, compassion, and love for his family.

His coffin was escorted by 18 army motorcycle outriders to Shanganagh cemetery, where he was buried alongside his beloved late wife Joan, who died in 1999, with a 106-strong guard of honour.


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