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ENDA'S HEARTACHE; Taoiseach grieves for mum who dies in hospital aged 93.

Byline: SAMUEL HAMILTON

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny's beloved mother Eithne passed away yesterday aged 93.

The former home economics teacher died peacefully at Mayo General hospital surrounded by her loving family.

Mrs Kenny celebrated her birthday in February and her son was triumphantly elected Taoiseach the following month.

Speaking just months before her death, the mother-of-five said she was so proud to be alive to see her son become Taoiseach.

The Government yesterday extended their condolences to the Kenny family, saying they were "very sad" to announce that Mrs Kenny had died.

Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Chairman Charlie Flanagan offered his sympathy to the Taoiseach and his family on behalf of the party.

The TD said: "On behalf of all members of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, I offer my deepest sympathy to the Taoiseach on this very sad day. The loss of a loved one is always difficult but particularly so at this time of year.

"Mrs Eithne Kenny is survived by her four sons - John, Henry, Enda and Ciaran and her daughter, Marie Hastings, who I have no doubt will miss her dearly.

He added: "The thoughts and prayers of the entire Parliamentary Party are with them all during this difficult time."

Tanaiste and Labour Party Leader Eamon Gilmore yesterday phoned the Taoiseach to offer his condolences after hearing the news.

He said: "On behalf of the Labour Party I would like to express my condolences on the death of Mrs Eithne Kenny.

"My thoughts are with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his family on this sad day. I have spoken to the Taoiseach directly and have extended my sympathies to him."

Fianna Fail Leader Michael Martin offered his condolences to the Kenny family, on behalf of the party.

He said: "My sympathy and that of my party is with the Taoiseach and his family at this sad time."

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams also offered his condolences to the Taoiseach last night.

Following his election as Taoiseach earlier in the year, Enda paid tribute to his mother at his homecoming in Mayo.

He told supporters: "I know she's a proud woman, although she would never say that."

Funeral arrangements will be released when they are finalised by the family.

Mrs Kenny was born in Glencolmcille, Co Donegal, and was involved in Mayo political life for the past 60 years.

She married Henry Kenny, a former Mayo West TD, who was succeeded by his son Enda in the Dail after his death in 1975.

CAPTION(S):

Happy Families... Enda Kenny celebrates 30 years in politics with wife Fionnuala, brother Henry and mother Eithne back in 2006 So proud... Enda Kenny with mother Eithne Stiff upper lip... Enda Kenny has lost his mum Eithne
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 27, 2011
Words:454
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