Minister and academic O’Donoghue is honoured as an Irish citizen of distinction

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Minister and academic O’Donoghue is honoured as an Irish citizen of distinction


Left: Professor Martin O’Donoghue’s remains are taken from the Church of St Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus, Harold’s Cross, Dublin, yesterday. Photos: Gareth Chaney
Left: Professor Martin O’Donoghue’s remains are taken from the Church of St Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus, Harold’s Cross, Dublin, yesterday. Photos: Gareth Chaney
Among the mourners at the service were Geraldine Kennedy, former Fianna Fáil TD Mary Hanafin and President Michael D Higgins. Photos: Gareth Chaney
Among the mourners at the service were President Michael D Higgins. Photos: Gareth Chaney
Martin O’Donoghue
His son Raphael and widow Evelyn depart the funeral Mass. Photos: Gareth Chaney

Martin O’Donoghue’s death meant Ireland had “lost a citizen of some distinction”, the chief celebrant at his funeral Mass told mourners.

Fr David Sheehy said Mr O’Donoghue had served as economic planning minister and later education minister before resuming a long academic career as Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin.

President Michael D Higgins was among the large attendance at Mount Argus Church in Dublin where politicians, judges, academics, joined family, neighbours and friends to pay tribute to Mr O’Donoghue, who died last Friday aged 85.

Mr O’Donoghue left school early but later returned as an adult to study at TCD where he was a first class honours graduate. After advising the Fianna Fáil government on education in 1960s, he became a close adviser to then Taoiseach Jack Lynch, for whom he helped write the June 1977 General Election give-away manifesto which delivered a landslide victory.

Mr O’Donoghue had been elected a Fianna Fáil TD for Dún Laoghaire and was appointed to the new post of Economic Planning Minister on his first day as a TD. After he lost his Dáil seat in 1982 he was elected a senator and continued in that post until 1987 when he quit active politics.

Martin O’Donoghue was a fierce opponent of Jack Lynch’s successor Charlie Haughey, who sacked him and abolished his economic planning department. Mr O’Donoghue supported the foundation of the breakaway Progressive Democrats in late 1985 and the attendance at his funeral reflected that wing of Fianna Fáil.

Present were founding Progressive Democrat leader Des O’Malley, and other leading former members including Geraldine Kennedy, Brian Hillery, and Stephen O’Byrnes. Former leader Mary Harney was unable to attend but her husband Brian Geoghegan was there.

Fianna Fáil was represented by general secretary Seán Dorgan, and others included former Taoiseachs’ adviser Martin Mansergh, former ministers Dr Michael Woods and Mary Hanafin, and former TD Charlie O’Connor.

The Taoiseach was represented by ADC Comdt Pádraic Kennedy. Former High Court judge Hugh O’Flaherty attended as did former Ictu leader David Begg. Political journalists John Cooney, John Bowman and Vincent Browne were also there.

Irish Independent

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