Mourners gather for state funeral of Dr Garret Fitzgerald

Hundreds of mourners have gathered at the Sacred Heart church in Donnybrook this afternoon to say a final farewell to former taoiseach Dr Garret Fitzgerald.

Hundreds of mourners have gathered at the Sacred Heart church in Donnybrook this afternoon to say a final farewell to former taoiseach Dr Garret Fitzgerald.

Among those present at the state funeral are President Mary Mc Aleese and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, as well as leading members of the judiciary, the defence forces and An Garda Síochána.

Five former Taoiseagh - Liam Cosgrave, Albert Reynolds, John Bruton, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen - are also among the 800-strong crowd, along with former president Mary Robinson and former leader of the SDLP John Hume.

Chief celebrant is Father Enda McDonagh, a lifelong friend of Dr FitzGerald.

Prayers of the faithful were to be read by four of his grandchildren Garret, Doireann, Aoife and Ciara and also Mrs Robinson and Peter Barry, former deputy leader of Fine Gael.

Dr Fitzgerald passed away on Thursday, aged 85, following a short illness.

His remains lay in state at the Mansion House in Dublin yesterday prior to last evening's removal to the church.

He will be buried alongside his wife Joan, who died in 1999, at Shanganagh cemetery in Shankill.

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