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State funeral of former Taoiseach John Bruton to be held

The State funeral for former Taoiseach John Bruton will be held later this morning.

It will be the first State funeral of a former Taoiseach for a decade and will get underway in Dunboyne, Co Meath at 11am.

President Michael D Higgins and the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be among the many political dignitaries that will attend the church service.

Additionally, around 180 Defence Forces personnel will take part in the proceedings.

After the funeral mass, the burial will take place two kilometres away in the nearby Rooske Cemetery in Dunboyne.

The Taoiseach will then deliver a graveside oration before Mr Bruton is buried with full military honours.

John Bruton’s removal service was held in Dunboyne, Co Meath yesterday evening

The 76-year-old had died on Tuesday morning following a long battle with illness.

Last night, Mr Bruton’s remains were received at Saints Peter’s and Paul’s Church on Main Street in Dunboyne for a removal service.

Mourners described the former Fine Gael leader as a proud family man with an infectious smile, a visionary politician and a statesman who sowed the seeds for peace.

Read more:

John Bruton: An original thinker with strong opinions’

A giant of politics’ – tributes pour in for John Bruton

John Bruton believed that ‘every person counts’ – brother

Among those who attended the removal were EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Culture Catherine Martin and her husband Francis Noel Duffy, a Green Party TD, and Minister of State for Sport Thomas Byrne were also in attendance.

The late John Bruton pictured at a conference in Dublin in 1995

Mr Bruton was Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997 when he led the rainbow coalition government of Fine Gael, Labour and Democratic Left.

He was leader of Fine Gael from 1990 to 31 January 2001.

He was re-elected to the Dáil in May 2002 and resigned his seat on 31 October, 2004, and was appointed as the EU Ambassador to the United States the following month.

Mr Bruton was widely credited with playing an important part in Northern Ireland’s peace process in the years leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which largely ended three decades of sectarian conflict.

During his tenure he also steered through a referendum that paved the way for the legalisation of divorce.

Mr Bruton is survived by his wife Fionala, his children Matthew, Juliana, Emily and Mary-Elizabeth, and his grandchildren.

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