Des O’Malley’s death a threshold moment for Irish society, funeral told

ireland
Des O’malley’s Death A Threshold Moment For Irish Society, Funeral Told
President Michael D Higgins was among those present at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Photo: Collins.
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The funeral of Des O'Malley, the founder of the Progressive Democrats and former Fianna Fáil minister, has taken place.

Mourners were told of a man with tenacity and courage, and a true believer in authentic republicanism.

President Michael D Higgins was among those present at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook.

Celebrant Fr Brian Nolan, who knew the Limerick politician from his time with the Progressive Democrats, described the death of Mr O’Malley at the mass this afternoon as a threshold moment for Irish politics and society.

“Des could be robust in debate. Utterly frank, often right. Des could also be very tender and gentle and loving,” he said.

“Des had a commitment to the common good, and I like to say that Des didn’t go right and didn’t go left, but went deeper. Des wanted to let everyone know that the final barrier to democracy is the power of money over politics.”

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Mr O’Malley died at the age of 82, 36 years after he founded the Progressive Democrats. He had been unwell for some time.

He was elected as a TD for Limerick in 1968 and was appointed Minister for Justice during the Arms Crisis of 1970.

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