Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden dies, aged 51

Longford-Westmeath deputy had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease

Nicky McFadden pictured in 2007

Nicky McFadden pictured in 2007

Tue, Mar 25, 2014, 20:02

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD and former senator Nicky McFadden died this afternoon at the age of 51.

The mother of two had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease in the summer of 2012.

The Athlone native was from a well known Fine Gael family. Her father Brendan, who died last year, was a former mayor of Athlone, a position currently held by Ms McFadden’s sister Gabrielle.

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD expressed his sadness at the death of the TD.

“I think I speak for everyone in the House when I say we are devastated by the suffering and the passing of Nicky McFadden.

“But if we are, we are also uplifted by Nicky’s magnificent courage, by her insight into this journey and her ability to make some kind of sense, even accord, with the savage uncertainty of life as lived.

“That she passed away on the feast of the Annunciation is somehow appropriate because today she begins her new life, free of the suffering that marked her last months on this earth.

“I would like to send my deepest sympathy to her children, Caren & Eoin, and to all her family and many friends.”

Fine Gael chairman Charlie Flanagan said Ms McFadden had shown “tremendous fortitude and courage in the past year, as she battled with what was a very serious and debilitating illness”.

“Nicky McFadden was a tireless worker on behalf of all of her constituents in Longford-Westmeath, and had been a distinguished public representative at local and national level for many years.”

President Michael D Higgins said he had learnt with sadness of Ms McFadden’s death.

“She made an outstanding contribution as a Senator and Deputy and showed immense courage in continuing her public service after having been diagnosed with a serious illness.

“All of our thoughts at this time are with her family, friends and constituents in Longford-Westmeath.”

Last January, Athlone Institute of Technology(AIT) conferred its highest honour on Nicky McFadden.

AIT president, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, presented the institute’s Distinguished Fellowship to the popular politician in a ceremony at her home.

Ms McFadden will be buried in Coosan on Thursday following Mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church.

She is survived by her daughter Caren, son Eoin, sisters Gab and Aíne and friends and relatives.