Tributes paid to late Aileen L’Estrange

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 1st September, 2010 5:00pm

On Friday last, August 27, the death of Mrs. Aileen L’Estrange (née Kellaghan) of Killentown, Multyfarnham took place.

Aileen (86), who was the widow of the late former Fine Gael TD, MEP and junior minister, Gerry L’Estrange, went to her eternal reward at her home, succumbing peacefully after a short illness.

She is survived by her nieces, nephews, relatives, cousins and a wide circle of friends, and was predeceased by her husband on Good Friday, 1996.

A devoted wife to the late Gerry, Aileen immersed herself in her husband’s long political career, during which he sat in the Oireachtas for thirty years.

She played a key role in supporting his general election campaigns, most notably when Gerry was first elected to the Dáil in 1965 after eight years in the Seanad; he later served as an MEP, and as a junior minister under the Garret Fitzgerald-led government, before retiring from politics in 1987.

The huge role played by Aileen in her husband’s political career was helped in no small way by her own enthusiasm for all things political. She also maintained a strong interest in greyhound racing over the years, and was a regular Church reader, reading up until shortly before her death.

A native to the Multyfarnham area, Aileen was highly regarded by her friends and neighbours in the community.

Former Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Paul McGrath, who is in Vietnam at the moment, paid tribute to Aileen. “I am very regretful that I was out of the country for her funeral,” Mr. McGrath told the Westmeath Examiner.

“Aileen was a very gracious lady, and she devoted her life to the late Gerry and to politics, working very hard during her husband’s political career.”

Aileen was removed to St. Nicholas’ Church, Multyfarnham on Saturday evening, and Funeral Mass for the repose her soul was celebrated by Fr. Gerry Boyle (PP, Multyfarnham) and Fr. John (Herman) Kealy OFM on Sunday morning.

Fr. Boyle officiated at the graveside at Multyfarnham’s new cemetery.

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