Updated at 11.06pm
THE PRESIDENT AND the Taoiseach were among the mourners at Nicky McFadden’s funeral mass this morning.
They joined her Fine Gael party and Labour coalition colleagues to pay condolences to the 51 year old’s two children, sisters, close relatives and friends.
The mother of two passed away on Tuesday afternoon after a long battle with Motor Neurone disease.
Delivering his homily, Father Declan Shannon said the Midlands TD was determined that her sickness would not define her.
“Nicky fought it with every fibre of her being but slowly accepted the gradual limitations it brought,” he said.
The slow onslaught of her sickness saw Nicky embrace this challenge, as she had done in the past, with all the determination and fight she could muster.
He said her children, Caren and Eoin, recall a fun-loving mother.
“They remember their childhood days when she taught them how to bake, leaving a trail of flour in their wake. They recall the days that she got down to paint with them, when not all the paint made it to the awaiting paper.
“They recall the childhood memories of family holidays in the sun, packing up the Kadett and without any fear, the three of them heading off to France. They remember the great joy of playing in the great outdoors, on the beach and the fun they shared in the water.”
Before entering Leinster House, McFadden worked at a doctor’s surgery and Fr Shannon said those who knew her will “recall that friendly face behind the reception”.
“The first point of contact, the person that could spot the nervous patient and put their anxieties to rest. Those who knew her as a Councillor, as a Senator or as a TD will remember the woman with a big heart who possessed that special gift of making you feel that you were the only person in the world that mattered.
They will remember Nicky who took time to listen to their story, who could identify with their struggle and who could help them in their plight.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny delivered an emotional tribute to his party colleague on Tuesday, describing her as a “woman of great joy”.
Her daughter, Caren, and brother in law, Brian McClean, both said some words of appreciation and thanks at the close of today’s Mass.