Former political colleagues gather for Lenihan removal




Irish President Mary McAleese has led hundreds of mourners at the removal of the former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.

Under military escort, with a guard of honour from former Fianna Fáil party colleagues and draped in the Irish Tricolour, the coffin holding the 52-year-old was brought to St Mochta’s Church in west Dublin.

Mr Lenihan’s funeral takes place at 11am tomorrow, when President McAleese and Taoiseach Enda Kenny will lead thousands of mourners from the local constituency and the world of politics and law, including Chief Justice John L Murray.

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

Among the mourners at the removal service were former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, former Progressive Democrats leader Des O’Malley and EU Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Following tomorrow morning’s requiem mass in St Mochta’s, Porterstown, celebrated by retired priest and family friend Fr Eugene Kennedy, Mr Lenihan will be buried privately St David’s Church graveyard at Kilsallaghan.

Thousands of people queued over the weekend and yesterday 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 was brought from Jennings Funeral Home in Blanchardstown village to the small chapel under military escort. The Defence Forces had offered to support the family and Fianna Fáil party in making the funeral arrangements.

The flag the coffin was draped in will be folded and presented to family members as the respected minister is laid to rest tomorrow. Ushers from Leinster House also lent their support.

Three large spillover areas are expected to be filled for the service, including two marquees and the local community centre where the funeral will be relayed.


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