Minister Phil Hogan was among the Kilkenny contingent to attend the funeral on Sunday of former Fine Gael Party leader and Taoiseach, Dr Garret Fitzgerald in Dublin. “His contribution to politics at both National and European level was immense. He brought a whole new excitement to politics with his greatest achievement being the Anglo Irish Agreement,” the Minister for the Environment said after the academic and politican was laid to rest.
“He will be remembered for his incredible intellect, inherent decency and enthusiasm for life. It was he who set the ball rolling with the Peace Process when he signed the Anglo Irish Agreement in 1985, and last week’s hugely successful visit by Queen Elizabeth was testament in no small way to his groundwork at that time and it was good that he got to see the event on television,” he said.
“He also modernised the Fine Gael Party and he modernized Ireland. Dr Fitzgerald also had a strong Kilkenny connection. His father, Desmond represented the Dail constituency in the ‘Thirties and had abase in the city,” he added.
“He continued to be an active political commentator almost up until the time of his death, appearing on television only a few short weeks ago,” Minister Hogan said.
Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr Martin Brett also attended along with Fitzgerald family friend and fellow city councillor, Paul Cuddihy and Cllr Fidelis Doherty as well as former Fine Gael TD for Carlow-Kilkenny, Dick Dowling who served in the Dail with Mr Fitzgerald andwith whom he enjoyed a great relationship.