Former President Barack Obama Attends Dan Rooney’s Funeral

Former President Barack Obama leaves Rooney’s funeral mass Tuesday. Gene J. Puskar, AP

Former President Barack Obama was among those who attended Tuesday’s funeral for Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney.

Rooney served as Obama’s ambassador to Ireland.

Rooney’s funeral Mass began right around 11 a.m. ET at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland, Pa. Rooney died Thursday at age 84 after a brief illness.

His grandsons and former Steelers CB Ike Taylor served as pallbearers, as the casket arrived at the church just before 11, according to ESPN.

Besides current and former Steelers, owners and executives from around the league attended the Mass.

Obama was not expected to deliver remarks, according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He left the cathedral shortly before 12:30 p.m. ET, per The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Rooney was an early supporter of Obama. After Obama was elected, he appointed Rooney as the ambassador to Ireland in 2009. Rooney held that post until 2012.

“Dan Rooney was a great friend of mine, but more importantly, he was a great friend to the people of Pittsburgh, a model citizen and someone who represented the United States with dignity and grace on the world stage,” Obama said in a statement. “I knew he’d do a wonderful job when I named him as our United States Ambassador to Ireland, but naturally, he surpassed my highest expectations, and I know the people of Ireland think fondly of him today.”

There was a public viewing at Heinz Field on Monday, where hundreds paid their respects for Rooney.

SOURCE: USA Today – A.J. Perez