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Enda Kenny among the pallbearers at his mother's funeral in Mayo Photo by: Irish Independent

Thousands attend the funeral of Irish prime minister’s mother Eithne Kenny

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Enda Kenny among the pallbearers at his mother's funeral in Mayo Photo by: Irish Independent

The funeral of the Irish Prime Minister’s mother, Eithne Kenny (93), took place in Castlebar, Co. Mayo on Monday.

Thousands of sympathizers attended the funeral to pay their respects to the late Mrs Kenny, who died at Castlebar General Hospital on Saturday.

Among the mourners were President Michael D Higgins, his wife Sabina, government Ministers and politicians from all parties.

The funeral mass was held in the Church of the Holy Rosary and then the burial at Islandeady Cemetery about 5km from Castlebar.

Almost 8,000 people paid their respects to Enda Kenny, his brothers, John, Henry, Kieran, and sister Marie, during the wake on Sunday in Cody’s funeral home.
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Originally from Donegal, Eithne Kenny spent most of her life in Mayo after marrying a Castlebar native, Henry Kenny. She was a loyal campaigner and staunch supporter of her husband, who represented Mayo as a Fine Gael TD from 1954 until his untimely death in 1975.  Fr Pat Donnellan told the funeral procession Eithne was proud, knowing her son had reached the pinnacle of political life.

Kenny had received the news of his mother’s death on Saturday morning while aboard the navy vessel the LE Roisin which was on a patrol from Cork to Dublin, the Irish Independent reports.

Keeping his official engagement, he later addressed the Fine Gael President's Dinner in the Burlington Hotel on Saturday night.

"For me myself and for my family this evening, it's also a celebration of a life long lived, one of devotion..." he told the crowd in a poignant tribute.

"I suppose I could say a word about herself who has left," he said. "Funny thing, my mother - her father was a light-keeper, in Donegal, right around the west coast, actually served on the Tuskar in World War I. And you know, fate plays its own coincidence in these things, I suppose -- I decided some time ago to go and visit the Navy," he added.

"But being a woman who loved the sea, and had a great affection for the lifeboats, I suppose it was fitting that, shortly after eight this morning, I had a call from Fionnuala to tell me -- it was just north of the Tuskar Rock -- that her spirit had gone off into eternity".

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