Albert Reynolds's funeral

Liveblog as the requiem Mass and burial of the former taoiseach takes place in Dublin

Genevieve Carbery Mon, Aug 25
 
LIVE: Albert Reynolds's funeral

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  • 11:04
    Good morning, The State funeral of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds begins in just over an hour at Donnybrook, Dublin and he will later be laid to rest at Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankill with full military honours. Genevieve Carbery here bringing you all of the details as they unfold.
  • 11:06
    President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former British prime minister John Major, with whom of course Mr Reynolds brokered the Downing Street Declaration,  will be among the dignitaries to attend today's event
  • 11:11
    Many Fianna Fail colleagues of the former party leader have begun arriving at the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook. Among them are former Minister for Foreign Affairs  Dermot Ahern and former Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey. Mr Dempsey was one of the gang of four who proposed a no confidence motion in Charles Haughey. Mr Reynolds' appointed Mr Dempsey as a junior minister.  
  • 11:20

    Other Fianna Fail members arriving at the Donnybrook church include former Minister for Education Mary O’Rourke, one of the people Mr Reynolds defeated for leadership of Fianna Fail to take over from Charles Haughey. Former Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy has also arrived with his wife Noeleen. His first ministerial appointment was under Mr Reynolds in 1992.

  • 11:25
    There are many from the current era of Fianna Fail arrving including TDs Sean Fleming and Darragh O'Brien, Dara Calleary, John Browne and Micheal McGrath as well as current party leader Micheal Martin.
  • 11:30

    Current members of the Government have also arrived - among those to have arrived are Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin.


    Also attending is Attorney General Marie Whelan. Of course it was the decision to reappoint Harry Whelehan as attorney general in which led to the downfall of Mr Reynolds's Fianna Fail /Labour government.  

  • 11:35

    After the fall of Mr Reynolds's government in November 1994, Bertie Ahern was appointed leader of Fianna Fail. Mr Ahern has just arrived in Donnybrook for the funeral. Also arrived is former Fine Gael taoiseach  Liam Cosgrave. Another member of the Council of State to arrive is former judge  Catherine Mc Guinness

    At this point I should mention thanks to Irish Times politicial journalist Mary Minihan for being our eyes and ears on the ground in Donnybrook.  

  • 11:37

    Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin is greeting people as they arrive. We will hear from Dr Martin later when he delivers a final commendation. The Mass to be celebrated by Fr Brian D’Arcy, who said the emphasis of his homily will be on family before politics.

  • 11:42
    In recent days many have talked about the peace process in Northern Ireland as Albert Reynolds's crowning achievement. And there are many faces from the world of Northern politics at today's Mass. Former British PM Sir John Major, with whom he negotiated the Downing Street Declaration has just arrived. Northern IReland secretary of state Teresa Villiers, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former SDLP leader John Hume with his wife Pat have also arrived.  
  • 11:50
    The organ is being played as guests arrive at the Church of the Sacred Heart by organist Darren Magee.  The church is very busy now with so many political faces from today and the past thronging the room.  Current political figures include Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Joan Burton, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Dublin Lord Mayor Christie Burke. Other former Taoisigh include Brian Cowen, John Bruton. The tanaiste in Mr Reynolds’s government, Labour's Dick Spring has also arrived.
  • 11:53
    Other former members of Mr Reynold's cabinet to arrive include Padraig Flynn who is there with his wife and daughter Beverly. Padraig Flynn supported a no confidence motion in Charles Haughey and was rewarded with a Minister for Justice Post in Albert Reynolds's cabinet.  
  • 11:55

    Jim Reynolds, Mr Reynolds' brother with whom  he transformed the dancehall era developing a chain of 14 ballrooms across the country in the 1960s, has arrived. His sister Teresa has also arrived.  

    The musicians at today's funeral will remind us of these showband era roots as Red Hurley and Paddy Cole perform.

  • 11:56
    President Michael D Higgins has just arrived and is seated at the front of the church. Former president Mary McAleese, who defeated Albert Reynolds for the Fianna Fail presidency nomination in 1997, is also present.  
  • 11:58
    Sean Duignan, press secretary under Albert Reynolds is also present. He wrote this week about an entry from his diary at the time when he said: "Albert is a born gambler - at the track, in business and politics...When the chips are finally down, and there’s nothing more that can be done, he just stands and watches - fascinated, fatalistic, almost stoic. Les jeux sont faits. Rien ne va plus!”
  • 12:00
    Mr Reynolds' family, including his wife Kathleen have arrived and his children  Miriam, Philip, Emer, Leonie, Albert, Cathy and Andrea, and their families.  Mr Reynolds’ elder son Philip will give the eulogy.  
  • 12:03
     "Marrying Kathleen was the best decision of my life" reads a quote in the Mass booklet under a photograph of Albert and Kahleen. President Michael D Higgins has just offered his condolences to Mr Reynolds's widow.  
  • 12:05
    "A politician thinks about the next election, a statesman of the next generation" is another quote in the Mass booklet beside a photograph of Reynolds from American theologian James Freeman Clarke.
  • 12:06
    The Mass has begun with traditional entrance, hymn Lord of All Hopefulness, sung by the Palestrina Choir from the Pro Cathedral dressed in blue and white  
  • 12:09
    Fr Brian D'Arcy is opening with a welcome: "among those many people here today one is particularly special to the Reynolds family, Sir John Major (former British PM). "I thanked  him for being here and his words were typical where else would I be on this day`'." Sir John Major gets a round of applause.  
  • 12:11
    His 12 grandchildren are helping to remember their grandfather. The first is Robert (Philip's son) bringing the freedom award of Longford. Harry  (Cathy's son) is bringing a book of tickets from a ballroom. This is a reminder of the very successful  ballroom business Mr Reynolds ran with his brother.  
  • 12:14

    The next grandchild is Anna. She is bringing a model of a CIE train. Mr Reynolds was a clerk at the rail company before he started the ballroom business.


    Kaitlin  is bringing a  telephone , Heidi a photograph of the fun times the family had. Mia a deck of cards representing his poker skills and love of risk Phoebe bringing up a copy of the Downing Street Declaration. Charlie is bringing up an autobiography.  

  • 12:16

    The next gift, a can of dog food, causes a laugh to ripple across the congregation. Mr Reynolds began a cat and dog food business , C&D Foods Ltd which is run by his son Philip.

  • 12:17
    Fr D'Arcy notes how difficult Kathleen Reynolds is finding her husband's death.  
  • 12:20
    The requim song from the choir is Kyrie (Faure), which means  Lord, have mercy.  
  • 12:23
    Fr D’Arcy said after his death the family searched scriptures to express the homely spirituality which was part of the Reynolds house based on love, joyous meals and a home not a house. The first reading is read by  Mr Reynolds’s grandson Robert, from the Prophet Isaiah.  
  • 12:26
    Eurovision winner Eimear Quinn is leading the responsorial psalm with a beautiful rendition of Se an Tiarna M’Aoire`' –this loosely means the Lord is my Shepherd. She won the contest in 1996 with `The Voice'. She is married to RTE DG Noel Curran.  
  • 12:29
    Kaitlin Reynolds, his granddaughter from the United States, read the second reading. It is a passage known to many, it begins-  "Love is patient and kind, it is not jealous or conceited or proud". The short passage is a reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians.  
  • 12:32
    <p>Kathleen Reynolds arriving at the funeral of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times</p>

    Kathleen Reynolds arriving at the funeral of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

  • 12:35
    Brian D'Arcy has begun his homily. "One of the ironies of life that during his time on Earth Albert never once regretted risking everything he had for peace, though like many others he never knew if his efforts were really appreciated – he does now."
  • 12:38
    Brian D’Arcy recalling how Albert Reynolds got him involved in communications. He said he met Albert on the street was asked to write for his paper – under a pen-name. “By such chance meetings our lives changed”.  
  • 12:39
    Brian D’Arcy homily: In showbands there were no borders and no difference, before it was fashionable. Albert Reynolds worked at making contacts and testing the waters long before he became Taoiseach.  
  • 12:42
    Brian D'Arcy homily:  On the day he became taoiseach he promised Fr D’Arcy – `Before I leave office I will have peace`. “For him peace was the only battle worth waging. He knew peace was not achieved by talking only to your friends you must also talk to your enemies and make friends with them.... As he said himself - `who’s afraid of peace’ “
  • 12:43
    Fr Brian D’Arcy Homily: He says Mr Reynolds had the courage to risk everything for peace because he realised nothing worth having comes from an island of safety. He also realised there were no votes in the North, his motives were pure.  
  • 12:44
    Fr Brian D’Arcy homily: He asks the congregation to remember the almost 4,000 people who died before peace was brokered.  
  • 12:47
     Fr Brian D’Arcy homily: Albert was an “uncanny businessman” and after Albert’s time as communications minister it  was possible “not only to have a phone but to make a call as well”.
  • 12:48
    Fr Brian D’Arcy homily:  Most of all he was a dedicated family man. He said the best decision I ever made was to marry Kathleen. During final years family cared for him incredible dignity. Kathleen showed enormous courage. The past few days it has been really inspiring to see family preparing to bury not a politician or businessman but a Dad. Kathleen said to Fr D’Arcy “I have done al l can for him now let me get on with preparations and me my rosary. “
  • 12:49
    Fr Brian D’Arcy homily:   Many more things I could say but the “one page man haunts me” – he says referring to Mr Reynolds’s famous request as Taoiseach for all proposals to be put on one page.  
  • 12:51
    Fr Brian D’Arcy finishes his homily with these words: "Albert may you enjoy eternal peace. May you rest in peace, you were indeed a man of peace."
  • 12:57

    His children are reading Prayers of the Faithful.
    In the relentless pursuit of political objectives he was a “noble boatman” , they were “bruising gruelling years” but thankfully “he never gave up and never looked back”, his daughter Miriam says in a prayer for marginalised.
    His daughter Emer prays he finds peace.
    His daughter Leonie prays for medical professionals and those who paid for her father “to whom we owe a profound debt of gratitude”.
    His son Albert Jnr says on reflecting on his father’s life he thought what was most important to him – love of family, loyalty, devotion to public service “and of course let’s not forget his love of the great sport of horse racing”.

  • 12:58

    His daughter Cathy says when Alzheimer’s had taken away his ability to recall their names, one night she called in to say hello. She saw her parents sitting at the side of the bed holding hands and her father reciting in full the Hail Mary. “ A profound moment that will never leave me” she says as she leads the congregation in the prayer.

  • 13:02
    Next in a reminder of the former taoiseach's dancehall days and strong links to the showband era, Red Hurley is singing `Be not Afraid' during the preparation of the gifts. The 64-year-old's enduring career over more than 40 years saw him as member of the showbands The Colours and the Nevada and representing Ireland in the Eurovision in 1976.
  • 13:06
    Former British PM Sir John Major arriving at the funeral of Albert Reynolds. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times
    Former British PM Sir John Major arriving at the funeral of Albert Reynolds. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times
  • 13:12

    Later in the Mass the following telegram of condolence from Pope Francis will be read by Archbishop Martin. "The Holy Father learned with sadness of the death of the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, and he asks you kindly to convey his condolences to Mrs Reynolds and their children and family.


    Recalling with gratitude the late Taoiseach’s efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland, His Holiness prays for the eternal repose of his soul. To all those gathered for the funeral rites, the Holy Father imparts his Apostolic Blessing, as a pledge of consolation and hope in the Risen Lord."

  • 13:14
    The sign of peace sees Martin McGuinness and John Major shaking hands.  
  • 13:21

    Many non-political figures attending the Mass include his nephew music promoter John Reynolds (of Pod Music), designer Louise Kennedy, broadcaster Anne Doyle, businessman JP McManus chief justice Susan Denham, jockey Charlie Swan.



    Political figures include, former ministers David Andrews, Michael Woods, Liz O’Donnell, Maire Geoghegan Quinn, Noel Treacy and Pat Rabbitte, FF Senator Thomas Byrne, Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly, former FF MEP Pat‘The Cope’ Gallagher, TD Denis Naughton and ex-senator Brian Hillary.



    (Thanks to Irish Times political journalist Mary Minihan for her observations on the ground at Donnybrook church)

  • 13:25

    The music for Communion rite begins with Libera Me by soloist John Magee and the Palestrina choir. The first line translates from Latin as "Deliver me, O Lord, from death eternal on that fearful day".

     

  • 13:27

    A haunting rendition of traditional Irish hymn Ag Criost an Siol now being sung without any music by Eimear Quinn. The last line translates as "From death to end, not end but growth, in blessed Paradise may we be."

  • 13:31
    Red Hurley, the showband singer, performs How Great Thou Art. The song is based on a 19th century Swedish poem, this is the 1940s version by Stuart K. Hine. It's a popular hymn and Hurley is belting out a pitch-perfect version of the well-known refrain "Then sings my soul, my saviour God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art".
  • 13:36

    A touching moment in a reflection from his youngest daughter Andrea on of the core lessons about life from her father, “to never fear failure”.


    She tells how in her third year of accountancy she heard she failed one of her exam papers. “I thought my world was over.....Dad put his arms around me and said I’m delighted for you, you’ll learn more about life than this experience than if you passed with flying colours. And of course he was right.”  



    She finishes with an extract from one of her father's favourite passages former US president Roosevelt's Citizenship in a Republic speech.  

  • 13:39
    The appearance of musician Paddy Cole again reminds the congragation of the wider life of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds' before his three years as leader of the State when he ran many dancehalls. The fomer Capitol Showband star plays an instrumental with Eamon Monaghan.
  • 13:44
    Eulogy by his son Philip Reynolds: Our hearts are broken. .....We all now realise that no matter how much notice we are given, the end when it comes we are never quite ready for.
  • 13:45


    Eulogy by Philip Reynolds: Dad’s last journey started in the true manner of someone who introduced Ireland to its first full colour election poster. At 1.30am on Thursday he Facetimed his grandkids in JFK as he knew he wouldn’t be here to greet them when they landed. He gave mum enough time to round the 7 of us and afforded us decency and honour spend the last 24 hours with him.

  • 13:46
    Eulogy by Philip Reynolds:   His end was not of a man who brought two Governments to the brink . At 2.52 on Thursday morning surrounded by those who loved him most he slipped away to do his next deed.
  • 13:48
    Eulogy by Philip Reynolds:    Many beautiful things said and written about Dad over the past few days. It’s some quare and peculiar trait and character in the Irish that seems to suggest we can all look forward to a generosity in death not  give in life.
  • 13:50
    Eulogy by Philip Reynolds:    His often scoffed at one page philosophy says more about us than him. While rest of us would be faffing around looking for reassurance about our decision Dad would be gone.  
  • 13:51
    Eulogy by Philip Reynolds:   Dad left us on Thursday  morning but in reality in the cruelty of his illness he left us years earlier. Years before his many grandkids got to see the real family man and his lifetime’s teenage love for their granny, his wife. He finishes with the line: "Your work is done here dad ".  
  • 13:57

    “He sought peace with determination and God knows we urgently need today an international community to seek peace with similar determination at a moment when our world is marked with increasingly frightening violence,"Archbiship Martin gives his final commendation. He also read the telegram from the Pope which we referred to here earlier.  

  • 14:01
    As the procession leaves the Church the Palestrina choir sings In Paradisum - the words translated include:  May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
  • 14:03
    Mr Reynolds's coffin is now being carried by pallbearers, eight members of the military police, and it is draped in a tri-colour down the aisle of the Donnybrook church , followed by his wife and family.  
  • 14:04
    Outside the church there are trumpets from the Army band and a blessing by Archbishop Martin. There is a large crowd outside as the coffin is carried through the gates by the pallbearer party.  
  • 14:08
    Many people can be seen sympathising with his widown Kathleen including former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, chief justice Susan Denham and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin.  
  • 14:09
    A marching military parade has started to make its way southbound up the N11 from the church.  
  • 14:12
    Many figures from former Fianna Fail governments can be seen including former Tanaiste Mary Coughlan. She was appointed to the party's front bench by Mr Reynolds' successor Bertie Ahern.  
  • 14:15

    At the end of the Mass booklet is a poem called I See You Dancing, Father by Brendan Kennelly with a dedication from his children "Rest in peace Dad". It includes the lines:  

    No sooner downstairs, after the night’s rest,
    And in the door, than you started to dance a step,
    In the middle of the kitchen floor.
    And as you danced, you whistled,
    you made your own music,
    always in tune with yourself.
    Well, nearly always, anyway.

  • 14:17
    Also in the booklet is a message from his family:"Throughout Albert's life, he was blessed with love, loyalty and kindness from many people. Kathleen and the Reynolds family would like to give thanks to all of you. We will treasure your friendships and stories forever. "
  • 14:21
    More about his pivotal role in the 1960s dancehall era of which we were reminded by performers during the ceremony.  

    Reynolds with his brother Jim built a dancehall in Rooskey which could accommodate 2,000 dancers. The Cloudland ballroom became the first of 14 halls operated.

    The growth of the company coincided with the dawn of the showband era and the Reynolds brothers brought leading bands such as the Clipper Carlton, Royal, Miami, Capitol and Dixies to rural Ireland.  

    The brothers booked US acts such as Johnny Cash, Chubby Checker, Roy Orbison and Jim Reeves.

    When the showbands’ popularity waned, Reynolds introduced bingo to the dancehalls.  

  • 14:24

    Also in the congregation is  Mark Killilea who was minister of state under Reynolds when he was miniser for posts and telegraph. Reynolds was rewarded with the post after he backed Charles Haughey's leadership after Jack Lynch stood down.  


    We heard about this period during Fr D'Arcy's homily when he said that after his time as    communications minister it  was possible “not only to have a phone but to make a call as well”.

  • 14:28
    We earlier heard a eulogy from his son Philip - he runs the Edgeworthstown based pet food business C&D Foods which is father set up in 1969. In 2006 a fire destroyed much of the Longford plant and led to many staff losing their jobs.

    In 2008, the meat processor Larry Goodman bought a fifty per cent of C&D Foods with Philip Reynolds reducing his stake to 50 per cent.

  • 14:30
    His funeral cortege has started its way up the N11 to  Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankill in Dublin flanked on either sides by military police on motorbikes.  
  • 14:34
    The rain is coming down heavily at the south Dublin cemetery. Here many Defence Force members have gathered for the burial which will be with full military honours with three rounds fired over his remains. We do not expect there to be a graveside oration.  
  • 14:37
    We heard a rapturous applause at the start of the Mass for Sir John Major, the former British prime minister who signed the Downing Street Declaration with Mr Reynolds in 1993. Paying tribute to a man he called a friend last week, Mr Major said:  “We’ve been able to have the fiercest of rows without leaving scars. I understood Albert’s difficulties and he understood mine,” adding that “Albert was a man prepared to take risks.”
  • 14:44

    Other public figures seen at the funeral include another key person in shaping Fianna Fail's Northern Ireland policy, former minister Martin Mansergh.  

    Also seen were broadcaster Sean O'Rourke, journalist Sam Smyth, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and former minister for education and local councillor Mary Hanafin.  


    (Thanks to Irish Times political journalist Mary Minihan for her observations at the church)

  • 14:52

    Several Fianna Fail figures who along with Albert Reynolds, were sacked from Government after a motion of no confidence in Charles Haughey's leadership in 1991 were present at today's funeral, including:  Pádraig Flynn, Máire Geohegan-Quinn, Noel Treacy and Michael Smith.  


    But in 1992 Haughey quit his leadership after Sean Doherty appeared on Nighthawks televsion programme to say that Haughey was fully aware of the phone tapping of journalists in 1982. Reynolds then won a leadersip contest against Mary O'Rourke and Michael Woods.  


    Bertie Ahern, who was also present at today's funeral and later succeeded Reynolds,    had considered standing in 1992 , but decided not to after remarks from the Reynolds camp about his place of residence; he and his wife had recently separated.

    More on this can be read in his obituary here.  

  • 14:55
    Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Photograph: Maxwells
    Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Photograph: Maxwells
  • 14:58
    <p>Former FG taoiseach Liam Cosgrave (94) (1973 to 1977 in office) at the funeral of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire</p>

    Former FG taoiseach Liam Cosgrave (94) (1973 to 1977 in office) at the funeral of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

  • 14:59
    Dozens of members of the army are in full dress uniform are lining the entrance to  Shanganagh Cemetery as the funeral cortege is about to arrive.  
  • 15:00
    The Army number one band dressed in black and red also awaits the arrival of the cortege at the cemetery. A Defence Forces spokesman said today that some 270 members are taking part in the State funeral.  
  • 15:06
    Very heavy rain falling as the cortège arrives in the cemetery. A colour party greeting the hearse arrives one with the tricolour and the flag of the second parade.  
  • 15:08
    President Higgins and Mr Reynolds's family have arrived at the graveyard.  
  • 15:10
    Among the umbrella-covered dignitiries now standing at the graveside are Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton.  
  • 15:12
    Also at the graveside is chief justice Susan Denham. Under the sea of umbrellas are FF leader Micheal Martin, former taoiseach John Bruton and Brendan Howlin.  
  • 15:14
    Mr Reynolds's family , including his widow Kathleen,  his five daughters and two sons and as well as their families are making their way to the graveside for the burial. We heard from all of his seven children earlier during the funeral Mass - in the prayers of the faithful, the reflection and the eulogy as they fondly remembered their father.  
  • 15:17
    The military police pallbearers are bringing the former taoiseach's tri-coloured covered coffin towards the grave. The coffin was just saluted by the colour party - two flagbearers.  
  • 15:18
    The tri-colour which was draped over the coffin is being folded by members of the military police. Kathleen Reynolds watches the flag folding ceremony under an umbrella with her sons standing either side of her.  
  • 15:21
    The folding of the tri-colour flag involves very slow and deliberate movements by eight members of the military police in unison. We can see water dripping down from the rain-drenched flag as the flag ceremony comes towards the end.  
  • 15:23
    The flag has been folded into the size of a book with the green colour visible on top. It has been presented to Kathleen Reynolds who is held by her sons as she receives it.
  • 15:24
    The coffin has been placed on top of the grave and Fr Brian D'Arcy is beginning prayers.  
  • 15:26

    Fr D'Arcy is sprinkling holy water on the coffin as he reads prayers. "We are dust and unto dust we shall return".  

  • 15:30
    The mourners have said the prayers -  Our Father, a Hail Mary, and  Glory Be in unison.  
  • 15:31
    The gun salute is now underway by the 27th Infantry Battallion with three rounds being fired over Mr Reynolds' grave and the sound echoing through the cemetery.  
  • 15:34
    The number one Army band has played the bugle call, the Last Post, which has traditionally been played as a final farewell for soldiers.  
  • 15:35
    President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny have just paid their respects to Mr Reynolds' family.  
  • 15:40
    Michael D Higgins was a member of Mr Reynolds' FF/Labour coalition government as Minister for Arts.  Remembering him last week he said Mr Reynolds would be remembered as a “dynamic” minister and a taoiseach of “courage”.

    “When I served in cabinet with him, I found him to be very supportive of many of the cultural initiatives which I introduced. I recall his great courtesy and relaxed manner in all our dealings on various issues,” he said.

  • 15:46
    <p>The coffin of Albert   Reynolds is carried from Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire</p>

    The coffin of Albert  Reynolds is carried from Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

  • 15:50

    To reflect here are some of the words from today’s homily by Fr Brian D’Arcy:  “Albert thought deeply about violence. He knew peace is more than absence of war but he knew that peace could not take root until the violence stops.”

    “For him peace was the only battle worth waging. He knew that peace was not achieved only by talking to your friends, you must talk to your enemies and make peace with them.”

    “He took personal and political risks but all he was doing was giving peace a chance.”

    “His motives were pure,”

  • 15:55
    A shot of the congregation a the funeral mass for former taoiseach Albert Reynolds at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire
    A shot of the congregation a the funeral mass for former taoiseach Albert Reynolds at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire
  • 16:00
    Pallbearers at Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankhill carry the coffin of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire
    Pallbearers at Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankhill carry the coffin of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire
  • 16:01
    President Michael D Higgins follows the coffin of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds as it arrives at Shanganagh Cemetery. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
    President Michael D Higgins follows the coffin of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds as it arrives at Shanganagh Cemetery. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
  • 16:48


    Just to finish our coverage with a footnote from the funeral Mass which reflects how so many elements of the ceremony were deeply personal to Mr Reynolds and his family, despite being a State event.


    During Communion two former members of the Capitol Showband Paddy Cole and Eamon Monaghan played Acker Bilk's Stranger on the Shore.


    It is understood the 1961 song was chosen because it was one Reynolds and Kathleen (then Coen)had danced.


    Mr Reynolds’ love for his wife was very prominent during the ceremony with a photograph of the pair in happy times on the Mass booklet accompanied by quote from the former taoiseach: “Marrying Kathleen was the best decision of my life”.