Former British Prime Minister John Major paid tribute to ‘peacemaker’ Albert Reynolds as the former Irish PM was buried with full state honors in Dublin.
The one time Fianna Fail leader was remembered as ‘a man who sought peace with determination’ by the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin at his state funeral.
The 81-year-old Reynolds died on Thursdayafter battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Fr Brian D’Arcy, the chief celebrant at the funeral mass, told the congregation that he had thanked Sir John for coming to the funeral.
The Irish Times reports that he said Sir John had replied: “Where else would I be?” The congregation applauded.
Fr D’Arcy told mourners that a ‘homely spirituality’ was an important part of Albert and Kathleen Reynolds home, according to the Irish Times report.
He also recounted the ‘joyous’ occasion of their golden wedding anniversary two years ago.
He said: “Albert never once regretted risking everything he had for peace. Albert may you enjoy eternal peace. May you rest in peace, you were indeed a man of peace.”
Irish President Michael D Higgins and current Prime Minister Enda Kenny also attended the service.
Dr Martin spoke at the conclusion of the mass when he recalled Reynolds’ devotion to politics.
The Archbishop said: “In his life, in his responsibility for the political and economic destiny of those he was called to serve, Albert Reynolds was responsive and creative and determined in his desire to move forward in the search for peace and for a more just, secure and prosperous society.
“He sought peace with determination.”
Children Miriam, Emer, Leonie, Albert Jr and Cathy read prayers of the faithful while daughter Andrea delivered a reflection after communion and son Philip delivered the eulogy.
His grandchildren brought gifts to the altar. These included an award of the Freedom of Longford (his home county), a book of ballroom tickets from his time as a singer in a showband, a model CIE train carriage representing his time as railway clerk and a telephone representing his efforts in the area of communications.
A family photograph, a deck of cards and a copy of the Downing Street Declaration were also brought along with a GAA ball, his autobiography, a racing card, a copy of the Longford News and a tin of dog food from his successful C&D Foods business.