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Final farewell to Fianna Fáil’s Mark Killilea

Thursday, 3rd January, 2019 3:10pm

Story by Siobhan Holliman
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Final farewell to Fianna Fáil’s Mark Killilea

Photo: Ray Ryan

Final farewell to Fianna Fáil’s Mark Killilea

Photo: Ray Ryan

“WE have lost a much loved and respected public representative who was well-known locally, nationally and internationally. Farewell auld stock.”
That was the final tribute paid by former European Commissioner and Finance Minister Ray MacSharry speaking at the funeral of former Fianna Fáil TD, Senator and MEP Mark Killilea this afternoon (Thursday).
The funeral Mass in Belclare Church was attended by leader of Fianna Fáil Micheal Martin, representatives of the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President Michael D Higgins as well as former MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher, former Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
They, along with numerous current and former public representatives from the national and local political arena, formed a guard of honour as the funeral cortege made its way to the graveyard in Claretuam.
Mark Killilea, whose father Mark Senior was a founding member of Fianna Fáil, passed away peacefully at his home in Caherhugh, Belclare on New Year’s Eve.
In his homily Fr Patrick Mullins PP said Mark’s death was a huge loss. “His passing leaves a huge gap in his family and in the community.”
He and his wife Anne would have celebrated 53 years of marriage next month and Fr Mullins described them as “a good team” who worked hard together for their family.
His family, community and political life were fondly remembered during the Mass as was his wit and ever-friendly disposition.
Daughter Medbh told how her father was born into a house of politics, family and food and that he loved all three.
Ray MacSharry told of meeting Mark more than 50 years ago. “Markeen was always a family man, a community man, a sportsman and a great public servant,” he reflected.
He also paid tribute to Mark’s wife Anne and attributed Mark’s success to her work at home rearing their children and with the family farm. “He was such a lucky man to meet her,” he said.
The former European Commissioner also looked back at Mark’s time as a farmer, beet producer and silage contractor as well as his life in politics.
“Mark was friendly, humble, sharp, alert and confident. It was a great honour to know him and his family so well,” added Mr MacSharry.
Mark, he said, had the ‘cuddly toy’ factor. He was always so friendly, and everyone wanted to be in his company.
Mark is survived by his wife Anne, and his seven children as well as large extended family and grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son Mark who died in a car crash in 2009.

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