Ireland: President Michael D Higgins among those to pay respects at funeral of barrister Noel Whelan - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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IrelandPresident Michael D Higgins among those to pay respects at funeral of barrister Noel Whelan

20:50  13 july  2019
20:50  13 july  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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Noel Whelan was a remarkable individual who combined a range of successful careers in his relatively short life. A political campaigner, a barrister , a newspaper columnist and pundit he carried out all his activities with professionalism and good humour which endeared him to people from all walks of life.

Noel Whelan , the political writer and barrister who was a leading figure in the campaign to introduce same-sex marriage, has died. He was 50. Mr Whelan ruled himself out of the presidential race last year after deciding not to mount a campaign if President Michael D Higgins stood again.

President Michael D Higgins among those to pay respects at funeral of barrister Noel Whelan 13 Jul 2019; President Michael D. Higgins arriving for funeral mass. Funeral of Noel Whelan, S.C., Church of the Holy Name, Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

President Michael D Higgins was among those who paid their respects to barrister, campaigner, writer and political advisor Noel Whelan at his funeral mass in Dublin today.

Mr Whelan’s wife Sinead McSweeney said she and the couple’s young son Séamus will remember Mr Whelan as a man filled with love and a passion for fairness and justice.

As Ms McSweeney reflected on her husband’s sense of fun she said he would have looked down the church and joked “that’s some guest list”, because of the crowds who came to pay their final respects to him.

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President Michael D Higgins was among those paying tribute, saying: “Brendan’s spontaneous wit and his sense of timing, his obvious delight in interaction with his audiences, meant that Brendan’s sense of humour was drawing from, and itself a profound contribution to, the deep wellspring of Irish

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President Michael D Higgins among those to pay respects at funeral of barrister Noel Whelan 13 Jul 2019; Mark Durkan offers condolences to Noel's wife Sineád and son Séamus after funeral mass. Funeral of Noel Whelan, S.C., Church of the Holy Name, Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

“Séamus and I have never doubted the depth and strength of Noel’s love for us,” Ms McSweeney told the congregation at the Church of the Holy Name in Ranelagh, South Dublin today.

“It is an immense source of strength and honour for us to see such a clear demonstration of the breath and depth of the impact of the lives he touched and friendships he made along the way,” she added.

President Michael D Higgins among those to pay respects at funeral of barrister Noel Whelan 13 Jul 2019; Micheál Martin, left, and Ruairi Quinn after funeral mass. Funeral of Noel Whelan, S.C., Church of the Holy Name, Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

“At the end of the day a good life is one where we make true friends, we impact the lives of other for better, we love fearlessly and are loved back in equal measure.

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President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to Grace saying: “Brendan’s spontaneous wit and his sense of timing, his obvious delighting in interaction with his audiences, meant that Brendan’s sense of humour was drawing from, and itself a profound contribution to, the deep wellspring of Irish wit.

President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to Mr Grace, saying: “Brendan’s spontaneous wit and his sense of timing, his obvious delight in interaction with his audiences, meant that Brendan’s sense of humour was drawing from, and itself a profound contribution to, the deep wellspring of Irish wit.”

“We have a treasure trove of memories and stories that will sustain us in the future.”

Mr Whelan died last Wednesday, aged 50, after a short illness.

He was heavily involved in politics and campaigned in the recent referendums on marriage equality and Eighth Amendment. He was a former advisor to Fianna Fáil and practiced as a barrister for 19 years before becoming a senior counsel last year.

President Michael D Higgins among those to pay respects at funeral of barrister Noel Whelan 13 Jul 2019; Colm OGorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, arriving for funeral mass. Funeral of Noel Whelan, S.C., Church of the Holy Name, Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Among those who paid their respects today were Ministers Katherine Zappone and Josepha Madigan, Attorney General Seamus Woulfe, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and broadcasters Anne Doyle, Miriam O’Callaghan and David McCullagh.

President Michael D Higgins among those to pay respects at funeral of barrister Noel Whelan 13 Jul 2019; President Michael D. Higgins after funeral mass. Funeral of Noel Whelan, S.C., Church of the Holy Name, Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was represented by his aide-de-camp.

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Barrister and political commentator Noel Whelan has died aged 50 after a short illness. Originally from Co Wexford, the former Fianna Fáil adviser died yesterday evening. He was a leading figure in the campaigns to introduce same-sex marriage and repealing the Eighth Amendment.

Barrister Noel Whelan will not be seeking nomination to run for presidencyCredit: PA:Press Association. He told Miriam O'Callaghan on RTE Former GAA President Liam O'Neill also pulled out of the running for the Aras saying he could not afford to run. He told the Tonight Show on TV3: "I was

Chief celebrant Fr Derek Smyth remembered meeting Mr Whelan in college, and spoke of his passion for volunteerism and helping others.

“Noel’s whole life was about crossing over and helping other parts of our lives and society,” he said.

Mr Whelan will be buried later today Ballycullane Cemetery, New Ross, in his native Co Wexford.

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