Taoiseach praises writer Mary Lavin


THE Taoiseach last night spoke at the removal of the writer Mary Lavin, who died on Monday at the age of 83.

Mr Bruton said her life was characterised by gentleness and her work by an ability to make the ordinary extraordinary. He said she took run of the mill people and turned their lives into ones of great sympathy and humanity.

"She would not have been able to draw so much good out of the world if she was not such a good person herself," he said. "She was a neighbour and a friend add somebody whom I liked very much indeed."

Last night's removal was to Star of the Sea Church in Sandymount. Ms Lavin spent much of her life between Dublin and Meath, raising her children and writing books.

Among the chief mourners were her three daughters Valdi, Elizabeth and Caroline Walsh, the last of whom is features editor of The Irish Times. They were joined by Ms Lavin's sons in law and grandchildren.

More than 300 people joined the cortege, including writers Mr Benedict Kiely, Ms Maeve Binchy, Mr Gordon Snell, Ms Vale Mulkerns and Mr Michael O'Siadhail academic and critic Dr Lorna Reynolds biographer and critic Maurice Harman Mr Justice Hugh O'Flaherty former chairman of the Bar Council Mr Frank Clarke the editor of The Irish Times, Mr Conor Brady the deputy group managing director of The Irish Times, Ms Karen Erwin the president of UCD, Dr Art Cosgrove the leader of the Progressive Democrats, Ms Mary Harney, and party members Mr Michael O'Dowell and Ms Liz O'Donnell the Democratic Left TD, Ms Liz McManus the actress Ms Olwen Fouere the artist, Ms Pauline Bewick Prof Patrick Lynch the psychologist, Dr Maureen Gaffney the Dominician nun, Sister Benvenuta the former director general of the Confederation of Irish Industry, Mr Liam Connellan and the Literature and Community Arts Officer at the Arts Council, Mr Lar Cassidy.

Ms Lavin's funeral Mass will take place today in Dunderry Church, Navan, Co Meath. Burial will be at St Mary's Church, Navan.