Public will get chance to pay respects to Garret FitzGerald

MEMBERS of the public will get a chance to pay their final respects to Garret FitzGerald, whose remains will lie in repose in Dublin’s Mansion House today ahead of tomorrow’s state funeral.

Books of condolences were opened in a number of locations for the twice-serving taoiseach, who passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 85.

Messages of tribute were left at the headquarters of Fine Gael, the GPO, Government Buildings and at Aer Lingus, where he worked before entering politics. Messages were also left at the Department of Foreign Affairs headquarters at Iveagh House, where he was once minister.

Dr FitzGerald’s remains will lie in repose at the Mansion House in Dublin today from 11am until 7pm before the removal to the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook.

Following a service there at 8pm, the public will be able to file past the coffin and to offer their condolences to the family until 10.30pm.

The funeral Mass takes place at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Dr FitzGerald will be buried with full military honours at Shanganagh Cemetery. He will be laid to rest along side his late wife Joan.

The cortege is expected to arrive at the cemetery at 4.30pm. Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to give the graveside oration.

Father Enda McDonagh will be chief celebrant. President Mary McAleese, the Taoiseach, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and other dignitaries will be in attendance.

RTÉ coverage of the funeral will start at 2pm on Sunday.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said it was “poignant” that Dr FitzGerald had passed away “at the very time that his work was coming to finality” with the visit of Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr Gilmore said Mr FitzGerald had been “one of the very few pioneers that were working for a peaceful settlement of the problems in Northern Ireland” in the 1970s.

He was “setting out the way in which that was to be achieved which was to be done by way of mutual trust between the two traditions and a settlement between Britain and Ireland”.

To facilitate the funeral arrangements, parking will not be permitted along Dawson Street today.

Traffic flow along Dawson Street may also be restricted to one lane.

There will also be no parking allowed in the vicinity of Donnybrook Church today or tomorrow.

Traffic flow in the vicinity of Donnybrook Church and along the N11 at Donnybrook may also be temporarily affected.

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