State funeral of former Taoiseach John Bruton will take place this weekend

State funeral of former Taoiseach John Bruton will take place this weekend

FORMER Taoiseach John Bruton will be buried in his hometown following a state funeral this weekend.

The 76-year-old died on Tuesday (February 6) in the Mater Hospital in Dublin following a long battle with illness.

The Government has confirmed the former Fine Gael leader, who was Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997, will receive a state funeral in his hometown of Dunboyne in Co. Meath.

His remains will be received at Ss Peter and Paul’s Church in Main Street, Dunboyne at 7pm tomorrow evening (February 9).

On Saturday morning his funeral Mass will take place there at 11am, followed by a burial at Rooske Cemetery, Dunboyne.

Tributes have been paid to the former politician, who was leader of Fine Gael from 1990 to 2001 and later became the EU Ambassador to the United States.

Mr Bruton pictured in 2011 with wife Finola

Paying his respects this week, President Higgins recalled the time he spent working as a TD alongside Mr Bruton.

“It was a privilege to serve as a member of Dáil Éireann and of Cabinet with John and, in particular, when he served as a very energetic Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997,” he said.

“John Bruton was a deeply committed politician, who demonstrated a life-long interest and engagement in public affairs and public service both in Ireland and internationally,” he added.

Mr Bruton’s brother, Richard Bruton, who is the Fine Gael TD for Dublin Bay North, paid tribute to him during an emotional session in the Dáil yesterday afternoon.

Cross-party TDs took the opportunity to share their condolences and pay tribute to their late colleague.

In an emotional response, Mr Bruton thanked them for their support following the loss of his brother and the “beautiful tributes that have been made”, adding: “it is so nice to see him remembered in such a warm way”.

He went on to thank those in the chamber “on behalf of Finola, Matthew, Juliana Emily, and of course my sister Mary - and I should say the next generation Ophelia, Hugo, Oliver and Robyn, who were the apple of his eye, as they say, and buoyed him up particularly during his long illness”.

Flags on all Government Buildings will be flown at half-mast until after Mr Bruton’s funeral.