Having written yesterday about duty and what that can sometimes entail, it's with a touch of sadness to write about the death of former Taoiseach, Garret Fitzgerald tonight.
One of the islands elder statesmen, he was Taoiseach on two occasions in the 1980's in almost Jekyll and Hyde combat with his chief political nemesis, Charles J. Haughey.
While one was trying to move Ireland forward and liberalize it somewhat, the other was feasting from the state coffers.
Fitzgerald's hands were largely tied during his years in office due too, yes you've guessed it, a deplorable economic situation.
An establishment lifer, Garret Fitzgerald was spoken about with great affection today, but not exclusively by that jet-set. In an Ireland so often afraid of change, he did what most fought against at the time, a more modern Ireland.
He didn't quite get there, but it may be fair to say he set the foundations for what would ultimately become an ultra-modern society and all the downfalls that came with that. One suspects under the politic of Fitzgerald, Ireland would possibly not have ended up as she did after successive Fianna Fail governments drove everything but the final nail into our sovereign coffin.
Like Haughey, Garret Fitzgerald will be buried with a State funeral. A true Statesman, a noble practitioner of politics and a life worth endorsing. That can't be said for all.