State funeral for John Bruton to take place in Dunboyne on Saturday

Former taoiseach and Fine Gael leader died on Tuesday aged 76 following a long illness

A State funeral for former taoiseach John Bruton is to take place in Dunboyne, Co Meath on Saturday.

The Mass is to begin at 11am at St Peter and Paul’s Church and will be followed by burial in Rooske Cemetery.

Mr Bruton, a former Fine Gael leader, died on Tuesday aged 76 following a long illness.

A post on says the former Meath TD died peacefully in the care of the Mater Private, Dublin while “surrounded by his loving family”.


A State funeral historically involves a guard of honour given by members of the Defence Forces, with the coffin of the deceased draped in the Tricolour.

The former taoiseach’s remains will be received at the church in Dunboyne on Friday night, with a service beginning at 7pm. The funeral on Saturday morning will have a limited quantity of seating for members of the public, with much of the seating reserved.

Mr Bruton will then be laid to rest after arriving at Rooske Cemetery, outside Dunboyne, at around 1pm.

Former Labour leader Dick Spring, who served as tánaiste the Fine Gael-Labour government of 1994 to 1997, added to the widespread tributes on Wednesday, describing Mr Bruton as “a man of endless energy, relentless ideas, and enormous enthusiasm”.

Mr Spring said while it was no secret that his relationship with Mr Bruton got off “to a rocky start”, he was “a man of strong conviction and not one to back away from an argument if he felt it necessary”.

“He also had a strong ideological commitment to the role of private enterprise, sometimes to the exclusion of all else, and that led to its fair share of disagreements,” Mr Spring said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We worked together again in the 1990s when John became Taoiseach. To his endless credit, he had resolved to build a team out of different personalities and perspectives, and he did it by listening and through a process of calm discussion.”

Mr Spring added that he would remember him best as someone who was viscerally opposed to violence in all its forms, “yet still found a way, in the interests of peace, to work with those who had espoused violence”.

“As someone from a deeply conservative background who was able to lead and contribute to really progressive changes,” he said.

“Above all perhaps I’ll remember John as a man who loved his family, his constituency and his country, and as someone prepared to give his all in the interests of public service. I hope he find peace and his family solace.”

A statement from the Bruton family, released by Fine Gael on Tuesday, said: “He was a good husband, a good father and a true patriot.

“We will miss him greatly. John is survived by his wife, Finola, son Matthew and daughters; Juliana, Emily and Mary-Elizabeth, grandchildren, sons-in-law, his brother, Richard and sister, Mary, nieces, nephews, many cousins and extended family.”

  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here
Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times