HUNDREDS of people from across Limerick attended the funeral Mass this Friday of former Fianna Fail minister, Michael J Noonan.
Mourners who made the journey to St Mary’s Church in Meanus heard of Mr Noonan’s immense contribution to public life in Ireland.
Fr Joseph Noonan, PP, Adare - the Bruff man’s first cousin - said the former minister was still answering queries from people from his sick bed in Milford Care Centre, where he passed away on Tuesday evening, aged 78.
“If all the people he helped in this life, who have gone before him today, are gathered in heaven to welcome him, I think there will be someone from crowd control there,” Fr Noonan smiled.
In a moving tribute, the former defence minister’s son, Pat, gave a moving insight into the life of Mr Noonan, away from the political spotlight.
“While he was very much in charge of his public commitments, it was a different story at home,” he explained.
“As he said himself, ‘I am good to delegate so I am going to delegate the father’s role in this house to my good wife, Helen,” Pat smiled.
“He was a very relaxed and easy-going father. Dad always encouraged us by saying things like: ‘Don’t ever give up, find another way, always do as much as you can today, a problem is only a challenge to be sorted out’.”
The president’s aide-de-camp, Col Brendan McAndrew, along with Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, joined with the Noonan family to pay their final respects. TDs, past and present, including Niall Collins, Patrick O’Donovan, Dan Neville, Kieran O’Donnell, Gerry Collins, Eamon O’ Cuiv and Martin Mansergh, and members of Limerick County Council were also present.
A file representing Mr Noonan’s dedication to public life were among the many gifts presented during his funeral Mass in St Mary’s Church. Mr Noonan was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.