Maeve Hillery, wife of late president Patrick, dies
UCD medical graduate passed away peacefully at the weekend aged 90
A 1990 photograph of Dr Maeve Hillery (second left) and her husband Patrick (second right) with Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, and then taoiseach Charles J Haughey at Arás an Uachtaráin. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.
A 2008 photograph of Dr Maeve Hillery with John Walsh, the author of a biography on her husband Patrick Hillery, and her son John. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.
A UCD medical graduate, Dr Hillery (nee Finnegan) passed away peacefully at her home the weekend.
She is survived by her son John, daughter-in-law Carolyn, sister Angela, brother-in-law David and four grandchildren. She is predeceased by her daughter Vivienne and her husband Patrick, who died in 2008.
President Michael D Higgins passed on his condolences to the Hillery family. He said he had fond memories of his last meeting with Dr Hillery, which was during an event in 2013 at Áras an Uachtaráin to commemorate 75 years of the office of president.
“She contributed greatly to the presidency of Dr Patrick Hillery, supporting her husband with integrity and dignity throughout his two terms as president,” Mr Higgins said.
“As an anaesthetist she was recognised as a dedicated and committed professional and as a mother and friend she was known for her warmth, strength of character and generosity.”
Dr Hillery’s husband was the sixth president of Ireland, holding the position from 1976 to 1990, having previously served as Ireland’s first European commissioner and in a number of cabinet positions such as minister for education and minister for foreign affairs.
The couple married in 1955, having met while studying in UCD.
Dr Hillery will repose at her home this evening and a funeral mass will be held at noon on Tuesday at St Fintan’s Church in Sutton, Dublin. She will be buried at St Fintan’s Cemetery.