Maureen Haughey, wife of Charles Haughey, dies aged 91

Micheál Martin leads tributes to ‘wonderfully warm, dignified and intelligent woman’

Maureen Haughey has died aged 91. Photograph: Eric Luke

Maureen Haughey has died aged 91. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Maureen Haughey, wife of the late former taoiseach Charles Haughey, has died aged 91.

Mrs Haughey was a daughter of former taoiseach Seán Lemass and mother of Dublin Bay North TD Seán Haughey.

Seán took to Twitter on Friday morning to announce his mother’s passing: “So sad to announce that my mother passed away peacefully this morning- A truly remarkable woman. May she rest in peace.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin issued a statement on Friday expressing his party’s “deepest sympathies to the Haughey and Lemass families”.

“Maureen was a wonderfully warm, dignified and intelligent woman,” he said.

“She was a tower of strength to her late husband former taoiseach Charles Haughey and loving daughter of former taoiseach Seán Lemass. Throughout her distinguished life she witnessed some of the major turning points in Irish history.”

Mr Martin said Mrs Haughey was a “very active woman” who kept a keen interest in the evolution of Irish society.

“She was a patriot who loved her country and retained a key interest in the development of Irish society.”

He said: “Her life was steeped in the cause of Irish republicanism and her family contributed significantly to its advancement.”

On Friday morning, Des Peelo, a former financial adviser to Charlie Haughey, said Mrs Haughey was “utterly unassuming” with “a lovely presence”.

“She had no airs and graces and was warm and intelligent,” he said.

“She was a very private individual, entirely without malice.”

Mr Peelo told RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke programme he always felt she was Mr Haughey’s greatest adviser and “if he was being an eejit, she took him aside and told him”.

He said she was fiercely protective of her husband and took great care of him in his later years when he was ill.

Mrs Haughey is survived by children Conor, Ciaran, Eimear and Sean.