About the Site

This is the official memorial website for the former Taoiseach, Charles J. Haughey, which has been established with the consent of his family. It is a work in progress and is intended to provide factual information on his career in public life and on his considerable contribution and achievements over many decades.

Maureen Frances Haughey

Maureen Frances Haughey - Eulogy : Eimear Mulhern

On behalf of the family, I would like to thank you all for coming here today, in such huge numbers to celebrate and give thanks for our mother and for her life.

Maureen was an exceptional person in so many ways. Her quiet dignity earned the respect of so many. She was strong but never pushy, she was wise but not opinionated, she was loving but never gushing, she was observant but never judgemental. Maureen was a loving and supportive wife and mother and a loyal friend. If she was in your corner, she was in your corner no matter what. She often joked that her father could never pronounce the word loyalty but rather used to say loylity.
That was a value he cherished deeply, well he need never have worried that he had not passed that virtue on to his eldest daughter.

My mother boasted that her family were 5 generations Dublin and followed the Boys in Blue with great interest.
She was hugely honoured when Jim Gavin and Paul Flynn brought the Sam Maguire to her home last year. She was born in and lived for most of her life in Palmerstown Road, Rathgar, with her parents, sisters the late Peggy and Sheila and her brother Noel. She attended Muckross College, played camogie and had a happy childhood.

She went to UCD and obtained her degree as a Bachelor of Commerce and there she met my father, Charlie. They married in 1951 and moved to the then new neighbourhood of Raheny, firstly on the Howth Road and then to Grangemore before moving on to Abbeville.

She loved animals and in Grangemore and Abbeville she had the room to surround herself with dogs, cats, horses, ponies and the general zoo we lived in. She loved Irish wolfhounds in particular and became a breeder of note under her kennel name St Doulaghs. She bred many champions and exported wolfhounds all over the world.

She loved horses too and was a very good horsewoman. As we got older, she found great joy hunting with the Fingal Harriers - to which she was Secretary with her great pal Joan O'Connor and their friends, Brian and Sheila Dennis, Standish & Clare Collen and so many others that remained her great friends throughout her life.

Indeed the "ladies lunch" on the first Tuesday of every month, with her pals from those days, Joan, Phyliss McDowell, Alison Baker and all the gang was a sacrosanct day in the diary until her very last few weeks.

Maureen had a great sense of humour and was very broadminded. Indeed her sense of fun continued right to the end and herself and Joan never lost their energy for life and had lots of great times with their friends, in Hollystown Golf Club or meeting up with pals for lunch. They made the best of lunches I can tell you and were not ones for taking the early bus home!!

She loved a sing song and loved nothing more than to be surrounded by friends and family singing Rebel Songs, they had to be Rebel Songs and indeed many a Black and Tan got shot many a night with Maureen and the family. When she and her sister Peggy had TB and were in hospital together, they would recite the poems of Thomas Davis to each other (coming from a good republican household) and her party piece, his poem Fontenoy would get an airing every now and again.

Maureen had, as we all know a unique political heritage. She was daughter of a Taoiseach, wife of a Taoiseach, mother of a Junior Minister, sister of a TD, sister in law of a TD, something that may never be repeated. A link through the political development of Ireland from the GPO to the present Dail. She truly lived the modern history of this country.
It is so unbelievably fitting that Maureen passed away on St. Patrick's Day. Maureen was Irish to her core. She was a "daughter of Ireland". A Republican in the truest sense of the word, a Nationalist to her fingertips.
Her Lemass heritage was very important to her and quietly she took enormous pride in her Father and his legacy.

She was fiercely proud of his role in the struggle for freedom and the part he played as a young boy in the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence. She was justifiably proud too of his transformation from that young man who fought for his country and then helped to transform it to the modern and progressive democracy that we enjoy today.

She was doggedly determined that God would not call her before the Centenary celebrations of the 1916 Rising last year. She was going to commemorate her father and his colleagues and their fight for Irish freedom, no matter what. We often said if she were to die on the steps of the GPO on Easter Sunday last year, well that would have been fine.

But she was Maureen Haughey too and she also was very proud of my father Charlie, her husband. She was fiercely loyal to him and she was in his corner at all times.

Maureen was an intelligent person, well rounded, logical person. I always thought she was born in a different time - a different era. What might she have achieved in business or politics. She was a keen observer of politics and current affairs right to the end. She had a very keen political brain and she was a very good judge of character way better than my father she often joked.

As a Mother and Grandmother, she was passionately supportive of all of us. She took great pride in anything we managed to achieve and was there with quiet support if things did not go our way. At a time when mothers largely did not work outside the home, she chose to stay home and take care of the family and we could not have had a better childhood growing up in a very happy, interesting and fun household. Our home was home for everyone. Growing up in Abbeville, when we were teenagers she would have no idea of how many would appear for breakfast each morning. Abbeville was an open house to so many. She was the "other Mammy" to all our friends as so many of you here will testify. There was always dinner going in my mother's kitchen for whoever showed up. It was certainly never boring in our house that was for sure!

She welcomed everyone to her home, people from all walks of life from President Mitterand, to Cardinals and Bishops, to many a hungover teenager, always with the same generosity of spirit.

We heard so many stories over the last few days of people who called there and of her kindness and graciousness to them. Andris who has been taking care of my mother said to me yesterday, Missus had a very big heart and she showed respect for everybody no matter what their life status and that was her.

Of course being married to my father for 55 years was never going to be boring. My mother was there for him through thick and thin and they had great times together, traveling, holidaying, and sharing their love of horses and horse sports. They had great friends and great fun. Weekends in Abbeville were filled with friends young and old and the "craic" was enjoyed by all the generations and so often all the generations sharing the happy days together.

It was a huge tribute to my parents that to this day, all our friends called to see them, to see how they were, fill them in on the news and what was happening, perhaps seek their wise council and spend time with them. The door of our house was never locked in case somebody might like to drop in, as they always did - a tradition Maureen continued to the day she died.

Maureen endured a lot of trials in her life but she was stoic and dignified and held her head up quietly and kept her counsel. It was particularly gratifying to see her enjoy the years after my father had retired. They
spent a lot of time together in France and most importantly on our beloved Inis Mhicileain. Inis Mhicileain meant and means so much to our family. This is where we are happiest - all together, with all our friends, close to nature.

She moved from Abbeville some years ago to her new house nearby, surrounded by my brothers and her grandchildren. And lovingly cared for by Andris and Cecylia, to whom we will be eternally grateful.
She enjoyed the peaceful life there and blossomed in many ways. Our family and friends were so lucky to have that time with her, to chat to her, you could always count on her to give you a good insight into events at home and abroad.

Our mother enjoyed a long, healthy, and happy life. She enjoyed terrific mental health to the end. Her body sadly just failed her in the last few months. Since last October she spent most of the last 5 months in the wonderful care of the Mater Private Hospital, where she was unbelievably well cared for by the medics and staff. The nurses and catering staff genuinely loved her - as they said "Maureen never asks for anything". We like to thank them most sincerely for the love and care they gave her, her doctor Professor James Egan who treated her with great dignity and kindness. We are eternally grateful to her GP Dr. Paddy Kelly who has been there for her at all times over the last so many years as he was for my father. The Carers of Careworld and everyone who has cared for Maureen so lovingly over the last few years.

As a family we are so thankful to so many of our friends who adopted our mother "Ma H" as their own, who called to see her - who took care of her, who brought her out, who helped her in her office, who genuinely enjoyed Maureen's company. Indeed so many people popped in to her home in Kinsealy for a quiet drink with her, or a bit of calm in a sometimes crazy world.

It was so nice for her Grandchildren too to see the genuine affection and respect for her earned from so many.
They knew her as Maureen - their Granny, who loved them so much and was enormously proud of them. She often spoke of how good they were to her and how she loved them dropping in for a chat with her.

And so to those who have played a part in Maureen's life, those of you who are here to pay your respects to her, those of you who have been in touch with us over the last few days, we want to thank you so much.

As you may know my brother Seán prevailed upon my mother to record her memoirs and I will finish with the last line of those recordings in Maureen's own words .

"I think I have led a very interesting life. First of all growing up with my father and being in the early days of Fianna Fail and then with Charlie, who living with, life was never dull, whether for good or bad.

...an eventful life, YES!!!

Thank you very much.