Caption On 2 September 2018 at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar, Bishop Tom Deenihan is congratulated by John and Finola Bruton on the occasion of his Episcopal Ordination as Bishop of Meath (Catholic Communications Office archive)
On 6 February last, former Taoiseach and long-serving TD for Meath, John Bruton, died surrounded by his family in a Dublin hospital. Bishops paid tribute to Mr Bruton and offered their prayerful condelences to his family and friends. In his message, Bishop Tom Deenihan of Meath paid tribute to the contribution of John as a member of the Dunboyne parish, stating, “I was very sorry to hear of the death of John Bruton. I offer my sincere sympathy and prayers to his wife Finola, son Matthew, daughters Juliana, Emily and Mary-Elizabeth, his brother Richard and to his sister Mary.
“John will be remembered as a man of principle and virtue, which was evident in his successful tenure in public life and as Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997. He was also a man of faith who recognised the notions of service and the common good in his career as well as the importance of faith and parish. John was a valued and active member of the Dunboyne parish community,” Bishop Deenihan conluded.
As former parish priest of Dunboyne parish, Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin also paid his respects and said, ” As a committed politician and dedicated leader, John Bruton embodied some of the finest qualities of political leadership, qualities without which offices of State risk losing necessary commitment to, and work for, the common good. A man deep conviction and profound Christian faith, John realised from an early age that the future of Ireland, and the future of Europe, were inseparable.”
In responding to the sad news, the President of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, said, “At this sad time for Finola, family and friends of John Bruton, I offer my prayers for the happy repose of John’s soul. A committed and noble public servant and a man of faith who worked for the common good. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”