Husband of former tánaiste dies, aged 48
on 03/09/2012 00:00:00
Mr Charlton, a garda, who met Ms Coughlan while working in Leinster House in the 1990s, passed away at home in Frosses, surrounded by his wife, 15-year-old son Cathal and 13-year-old daughter Maeve.
He is reposing at the family home until tomorrow. Mr Charlton's funeral Mass will take place at St Mary's Church in Frosses and he will be buried at Cranny Road Cemetery.
Ms Coughlan, who held the second highest position in the Fianna Fáil-Greens coalition, and her children were being comforted by relatives and friends last night.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said it was a tragedy that Mr Charlton died so young. "It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of David.
"He 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."
Mr Charlton, originally from Kiltimagh in Co Mayo, was attached to Glenties Garda station.
He met Ms Coughlan when he was on duty at Leinster House and they married two years later when Ms Coughlan, now 47, was 26.
Mr Charlton lost a leg in a road accident several years ago when his car hit a patch of black ice.
Despite the near death experience, he recovered, remaining in his job and continuing his keen interest in golf.
Mr Charlton was a son of Sara Ann, of Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, and the late Denny Charlton.
Throughout the couple's marriage, Ms Coughlan was full of praise for the part her husband played in the home while she was a TD and a minister.
She said during a busy cabinet career: "It's not easy.
"I can cook - that's one thing. David's also a good cook. And at least once a week we try to eat at home together."