So long Garret: A bloggish round up…

Kicking off with Bock, who rarely has a kind word for any politician…

He was naive, he was fussy.  He was occasionally pedantic to the point of idiocy.  He wasn’t always right, but he was sincere and his principles derived from careful thought, not from slogans.  In the 1980s, he articulated the almost unthinkable notion for the time that Ireland might abandon its sectarian structures and become a pluralist society, with room for all beliefs.

– Ditto Anthony

– And the peerless Suzy Byrne

He was a crusader and we have not had many since like him in their wish to reform or in their understanding  of social justice from the blue side of the Dáil – yes he got it wrong on the shoes and was played into a corner by the Pro Life movement but he supported women’s participation in politics and not just by lip service and wanted widespread constitutional reform.

– And our man Dan (a fellow blueshirt and believer)…

…he demanded that you do this for yourself. No blind loyalty for him, you had a responsibility to work through the argument and reach what you could then see for yourself was the correct conclusion. He wanted you to find the conclusion with him, and then join with him.

The Telegraph’s Obit on his upbringing

His mother raised him scrupulously as a Catholic, in deference to his pious father’s wishes, although she could not bring herself to teach him the Sign of the Cross. He said later that, although a lifelong devout Catholic, he was always much too embarrassed to cross himself at religious occasions.

And Maria Farrell with a beautiful snippet from his private life:

Every summer, he and his daughter Mary organized a weeks-long summer house rental in the south of France, where a rota of family, friends and especially his beloved grand-children and their friends would come through, with 20-30 people at a time sitting down for dinner. (Everyone took turns cooking dinner and Garret calculated contributions based on a characteristically complex but fair formula.)

Alex Massie in the Spectator

He blundered on abortion and his divorce referendum was defeated by the Bishops and the electorate. His desire to amend Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution, which laid claim to the six counties of Northern Ireland, was dismissed as just another quixotic obsession and stop on his “intellectual pub crawl from one issue to the next”. Nevertheless, FitzGerald was ahead of his time.

And from the Irish Times Obit:

He had the impeccable nationalist pedigree of having had both parents in the GPO for the 1916 Easter Rising. But they also represented different traditions as his father, Desmond FitzGerald, came from Catholic Munster stock though born and brought up in London; while his mother, Mabel McConnell, was from a Northern Protestant family. They met in London where both were involved in the Gaelic League.

Kevin Myers

I WOULDN’T want to be St Peter at his gates this morning, with Garret FitzGerald beside him, on his hands and knees measuring the width between the stone plinths to see whether the next Luas line could fit.

Finally via the Cedar Lounge, the RTE Obituary…

Let us know if we’ve missed anything…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty