Kennedy first former minister to receive royal honour

RETIRED Fianna Fáil Minister Michael O’Kennedy yesterday became the first former Government minister to receive an honour from the English monarchy, for his work forging links between Irish and British parliaments.

Mr O’Kennedy, who held six different ministries during his parliamentary career, was awarded an honorary CMG at his Dublin home by British Ambassador Stewart Eldon.

Mr O’Kennedy was joined by his wife and two daughters to receive the honour, that of Companion in the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. During the low-key ceremony Mr Eldon passed on congratulations on behalf of various British politicians.

Mr O’Kennedy, 68, served in the Oireachtas for over 35 years, holding six different ministerial portfolios, including Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and Agriculture Minister. He was also an EC Commissioner from 1981-2. Mr O’Kennedy was co-chairman of the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body from 1997 until his retirement from politics in 2002. The body was established in 1990 as a link between the British and Irish Parliaments and meets twice a year.

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