Body of Reynolds to lie in state

A full state funeral will be held for former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds

A full state funeral will be held for former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds

First published in National News © by

The body of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds will lie in state today in Dublin's Mansion House for members of the public to file past his coffin and pay their respects.

His remains will repose in the Oak Room of the Lord Mayor of Dublin's official residence on Dawson Street before a formal reception at the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook later in the evening.

Planning is continuing for the full State funeral on Monday, with Mass expected to start at midday. The service will be broadcast outside for those who cannot get a seat in the church.

Mourners arrived at locations throughout the country yesterday to sign books of condolence in memory of the late ex-leader.

In his former constituency Longford, people gathered to sign messages of sympathy in books at Dublin's GPO, Government Buildings and City Hall.

There were also sympathisers paying their respects to the ex-premier at Leinster House, Mansion House and Fianna Fail's headquarters on Lower Mount Street in the capital.

The Irish Tricolor flew at half mast over government buildings.

The businessman, showband promoter and politician was remembered as a courageous peacemaker after he died on Thursday, aged 81, following a long illness.

Sir John Major, who signed the 1993 Downing Street Declaration with Mr Reynolds that paved the way for the Good Friday Agreement and lasting peace, remembered Mr Reynolds as the leader who made things happen.

The ex-prime minister described him as a friend and a politician deserving of his place in history.

Mr Reynolds, who had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease, is survived by his wife Kathleen, two sons and five daughters.

Born in November 1932 in Rooskey, Co Roscommon, he was elected to the Irish parliament in 1977 and went on to become Taoiseach in February 1992.

Former US president Bill Clinton said Mr Reynolds worked hard and risked much to advance the peace process.

"His leadership alongside British prime minister John Major was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Good Friday Agreement, and our world owes him a profound debt of gratitude," he said.

"I will always be grateful for his encouragement, advice, and support in the peace process."

Mr Reynolds will be buried at Shanganagh Cemetery on the Old Bray Road in Shankill, Co Dublin.

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