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Funeral hears tributes to Peter Sutherland's 'countless hidden acts of generosity'

The former attorney general and UN Special Representative for Migration was laid to rest today.

9958 Peter Sutherland funeral_90533871 Source: Rollingnews.ie

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were among the mourners at the funeral of former attorney general and European Commissioner Peter Sutherland today.

Sutherland, who also served as director general of GATT, the forerunner of the World Trade Organisation, passed away aged 71 on Sunday.

His funeral was held at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook in Dublin this morning.

Father Noel Barber, who gave the homily, told the congregation how “acres of newsprint” had chronicled Sutherland’s journey to the top, adding that that coverage had …

… perhaps not underlined a most significant event that occurred in the Old Belvedere pavilion on Anglesea Road. There Peter met Maruja and a friendship blossomed into a romance and the romance into the happiest of marriages of two people of different temperaments and character but absolutely united in their devotion to one another and to the children.
Her support was writ large over his success in the balance and calm she brought to union. Of course, his long illness showed her in her finest colours.

Barber recalled Sutherland’s “countless acts of  generosity that were and remain hidden” and his “passionate devotion to the cause of refugees”.

9789 Peter Sutherland funeral_90533893 President Higgins and his wife Sabina at this morning's funeral. Source: Rollingnews.ie

Sutherland served as United Nations Special Representative for International Migration for more than eleven years from the start of 2006.

“He promoted globalisation because he saw it was a means of lifting billions out of grim poverty and of countering a narrow nationalism, which avoids global responsibility,” Fr Barber said.

His enthusiasm for the real benefits of globalisation may indeed have blurred his view of its downside but he rightly emphasised its benefit to the poorer countries of the world.

Sutherland had a distinguished legal career and a highly successful business career. He was chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International and also served on numerous multinational boards including BP, Volvo and Ericsson.

His various Irish, European and International jobs saw him play a role in some significant events of the past few decades – including 1983′s abortion referendum as attorney general, and the creation the Erasmus university programme while EU Commissioner in the 1980s.

File Photo Peter Sutherland Has Dies. End. Peter Sutherland, pictured in 2015. Source: Sam Boal

The Taoiseach, paying tribute at the weekend, called Sutherland a “statesman in every sense of the word”. President Higgins paid tribute to his “lifetime of contributions at home and abroad”.

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, and businessmen Denis O’Brien and Harry Crosbie also attended today’s funeral.

Peter Sutherland was laid to rest at Kilternan Cemetery Park in south Dublin.

Read: ‘An Irish giant on the international stage’: Former attorney general Peter Sutherland has died >

Read: Former Attorney General given honour by Swedish royal family >

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