David Charlton, the 48-year-old husband of former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, will be laid to rest tomorrow, Tuesday, September 4.
The couple met when he was serving as a garda at Leinster House and she was a young TD. He was later based at Glenties Garda Station.
He passed away on Saturday night at the family home in Frosses after a six month long battle with cancer.
Removal from the family home takes place at 11.30 tomorrow for Funeral Mass at 12 noon in St. Mary’s Church, Frosses with interment afterwards in Cranny Road cemetery.
A native of Kiltimagh, David Charlton was a devoted Mayo GAA supporter and attended many of their matches with his young son Cathal. The family home in Frosses was a house that had very divided loyalties between the red and green of Mayo and the green and gold of Donegal. Those visiting their home would have been familiar with the two large flags from their respective counties at the entrance.
A close friend who had been talking to him in the last few days said: “It has come as an awful shock to us all. Of course we all knew that Dave was fighting a courageous battle against cancer but he was determined to beat it. Over the last few weeks he was just looking so well and had put on weight. He was in great form.”
The friend added: “He had been looking forward so much to the match against Dublin on Sunday and there was a lot of banter as to the possibility of a Donegal and Mayo All-Ireland clash.
“It is really sad that he passed away on the eve of the match. He would have been so proud of his county’s performance. I’m sure he was keeping a close eye on them.”
Along with football, golf was his great passion and David was a frequent figure on the fairways in Murvagh.
He is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Maebh (13) and Cathal (15), his mother Sarah Anne, sisters Sally and Mary, brothers Paul, Pauric and Denis and a large extended family.
Yesterday, Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin TD, expressed his condolences. He said: “It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of David last night.
“David was the beloved husband of former Fianna Fáil TD and Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, who has been a friend and colleague for many years.
“On behalf of myself and the Fianna Fáil party, I would like to express my deep sympathy to Mary, her children Meave and Cathal, as well as the Charlton and Coughlan families. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.