Belfast Telegraph

Minister Michael Noonan's wife dies

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed his condolences to Finance Minister Michael Noonan, whose wife has died.

Florence Noonan, who had suffered with Alzheimer's disease for years, was being treated for pneumonia over the last couple of weeks.

"On behalf of the Government, I express my deep condolences to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan on the passing of his wife, Florence," Mr Kenny said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael, their daughters and sons, and their extended family at this time of great loss."

Mrs Noonan was 68. A native of Castlemaine in Co Kerry and a teacher, she was married to Mr Noonan for 43 years.

Mr Noonan spoke on national television in May 2010 about his wife's battle with Alzheimer's and the difficult decision the family took in opting to place her in long-term nursing care.

The minister cancelled an engagement in Brussels for talks on the Greek bailout this week to be with his wife.

Fine Gael chairman Charlie Flanagan said the thoughts of all party members were with Mr Noonan. "On behalf of the Fine Gael party I would like to express our sincere condolences to our friend and colleague Michael Noonan on the sad passing of his wife, Florence," Mr Flanagan said. "Our thoughts, our prayers and our support are with Michael and his children on the loss of a wonderful wife and mother and a fine person."

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said he was deeply saddened to hear of Mrs Noonan's death. "My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Michael and his children at this difficult time. Michael has spoken publicly in the past about the brave battle his wife has had with her condition over many years and I know this was warmly appreciated by many families across the country that are in similar circumstances. I want to extend my condolences, those of my party and the whole Fianna Fail organisation to Michael and his children."

Tanaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore also expressed his deepest sympathies to Mr Noonan. Mr Gilmore, who is attending an international conference on the crisis in Syria, said his thoughts were with his Cabinet colleague and his family at this very difficult time.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams also expressed his condolences. "My thoughts and sympathies are with Michael Noonan at this sad time. I also extend my condolences to their children at their great loss," he said.

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