Former Taoiseach John Bruton will be laid to rest this weekend following a state funeral in his native Co Meath.
The 76-year-old, who served as Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997, died on Tuesday at Dublin’s Mater Private Hospital following a long battle with illness.
A pivotal player during the peace process in the 1990s, when he launched the Anglo-Irish Framework Document with then-British Prime Minister John Major, the ex-Fine Gael leader is set to be buried after a funeral in the Co Meath town where he was born and raised.
Following the funeral, flags will be flown at half mast on all government buildings in the Republic as a mark of respect, while an online book of condolence is available to sign at gov.ie/johnbruton.
A death notice published online on Wednesday said his remains will be removed to St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Dunboyne on Friday evening, ahead of a funeral mass the following morning at 11am.
A burial service will then take place at Dunboyne’s Rooske Cemetery.
The death notice said Mr Bruton will be “very sadly missed by his devoted wife Finola, son Matthew, daughters Juliana, Emily and Mary-Elizabeth, grandchildren Ophelia, Hugo, Oliver and Robin, sons-in-law Maxence and Eibi”.
It added: “He is also survived by his brother Richard and sister Mary, nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by all his extended family, friends and colleagues.”
During my conversation with the @AtlanticCouncil on the positive developments in Northern Ireland, I paid tribute to former Taoiseach John Bruton and his contribution and steadfast conviction led politics is respect of peace and reconciliation. pic.twitter.com/mzcB2MegqX— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) February 7, 2024
During expressions of sympathy in the Dáil on Wednesday, the former taoiseach, who was first elected as a TD for Meath at the age of 22, was described as a “modern Irish patriot”.
He retired from domestic politics in 2004 but served as the European Union’s ambassador to the US until 2009.
The speaker of the house, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl, said it was “profoundly sad” occasion.
Current Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar extended his sympathy to the Bruton family, who he said exemplify positive principles of Irish politics.
“While his public persona was often intellectual and serious - as a person, he was always good company, funny, witty, gregarious, sociable, self-deprecating with a distinctive and infectious laugh,” Mr Varadkar said.
“He continued to radiate optimism and confidence, and continued to inspire those around him as he worked to improve the lives of others.”