03 Dec 2021

Mother of Barry and Brian Cowen passes away

Mother of Barry and Brian Cowen passes away

May Cowen, mother of Barry and Brian Cowen has passed away

Mary Cowen, mother of Laois-Offaly TD Barry Cowen and former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, has passed away in Clara, Co Offaly.

Mrs Cowen, known to her family as May, had been on kidney dialysis for a number of years.

In addition to Fianna Fail TD Barry and his older brother Brian, Mrs Cowen is survived by another son Christy, who runs a public house in Clara.

Mrs Cowen was in her 80s and was predeceased by her husband Bernard on 1984.

He was a TD for Laois-Offaly at the time and Brian Cowen was elected in the byelection following his death.

Mrs Cowen, who lived in River Street, Clara, and was formerly Mary Weir, is also survived by two sisters in the US, Patsy Nolan and Nuala Farley.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent in 2017, Barry Cowen recalled advice his mother had given her sons in politics:

"She would always say 'you are elected by the people, you are elected by your constituents, you work for your constituents and hard work will be rewarded. And if you take your eye off the ball, if you neglect your work, if you leave yourself vulnerable and open, you lose your job'."

A family funeral Mass will take place on Saturday at 12 noon in St Brigid's Church, Clara, followed by burial in the Monastery Cemetery, Clara.

The funeral will be available for viewing on the St Brigid's Church YouTube channel and the family said people are welcome to stand outside the church or along the route to the cemetery.

Donations can be made to the dialysis unit at the regional hospital in Tullamore.

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