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The former Taoiseach was paying tribute to the aid worker upon the news of her death. Sam Boal/

'That was untrue': Enda Kenny corrects statement about Margaret Hassan in Dáil 13 years ago

Kenny had said that the aid worker who died in Iraq had converted to Islam, but corrected that statement yesterday.

FORMER TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny sought to clarify Dáil record yesterday about statements he made about an Irish national in Iraq over 13 years ago.

Margaret Hassan was an aid worker in Iraq who was abducted and murdered in  November 2004. Her body has never been recovered.

She was married to an Iraqi man, but Kenny said he mistakenly said in the Dáil on 17 November 2004 that she had converted to Islam.

“This statement was untrue,” he said.

On that day, commenting on the news that Hassan had died, the former Fine Gael leader said: “Margaret Hassan converted to Islam. The prayers at her funeral will ask for forgiveness for our living and our dead, those who are present and those who are absent, for our young and our old, and for our males and our females.

On that occasion, we should interpret the word “our” as applying to all of us — Muslims, Christians, those of any religion and none — who are part of what has been shown in recent months to be the fragile community of man.

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Commenting yesterday, Kenny said: “Margaret Hassan was a devout Catholic who continued to practice her religion during the years she was in Iraq.

I wish, therefore, to have the official report for the Dáil of 17 November 2004 corrected to indicate that Margaret Hassan had not converted to Islam but was, in fact, a devout and practising catholic. I regret not having done so prior to this. While her body has never been recovered, I hope some day that will happen and that she will receive a christian burial.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl added: “I am sure the family of the late Margaret Hassan will deeply appreciate the Deputy’s comments.”

Read: Enda Kenny got an honorary doctorate at NUIG today

Read: Flattery, chuckles and playful punches: Enda’s long goodbye comes to an end

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