Tributes paid to Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, wife of Minister Katherine Zappone

Tributes paid to Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, wife of Minister Katherine Zappone

Tributes have been paid to Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, wife of Minister Katherine Zappone, from across the community and the political divide after news that she had died was confirmed this morning.

Dr Gilligan passed away after a short illness, and Minister Zappone issued an emotional statement, saying she was ‘heartbroken’ following the passing of her “beloved Ann Louise”.

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The couple were married in 2003 in a ceremony in British Columbia in the United States, and Minister Zappone said the joy of the that day was only matched “when after tireless campaigning through the courts, the Oireachtas and ultimately on the doorsteps we helped secure marriage equality for everyone in Ireland.”

Ann Louise was a teacher at St Patrick’s in Drumcondra and also taught at Dublin City University (DCU), and Minister Zappone praised her partner’s “exceptional love of children”, which she said “lives on through the work of the thousands of primary school teachers she educated throughout the country.”

Many have taken to Twitter today to offer their condolences, including Senator Lynn Ruane who shared an image of the two embracing.

Senator Ruane said: “When u know ur in the presence of pure goodness. Ann Louise gave me the greatest gift of education & continued 2 till the end. My love to KZ”.

Former Tanaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton said: “We mourn with Katherine Zappone the loss of her beautiful wife & life partner Ann Louise Gilligan. Social justice campaigner & lovely person.

Meanwhile, former Mayor of South County Dublin, Fintan Warfield said: “This is extremely saddening. My thoughts are with Katherine at this time. Ann Louise Gilligan’s fight for equality will never be forgotten.”

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams also paid tribute to Dr Gilligan, saying: “Condolences 2 Katherine Zappone on sad death of her spouse Anne Louise Gilligan. Bean uasal Anne Louise. Tá sí ar slí an fhirrine anios.”

Many others, including Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar have also been expressing their condolences online at the sad news of Ann Louise’s passing.