Lifelong friend Father Enda McDonagh recalled the poignant moment to hundreds mourning the 85-year-old yesterday, remembered for making a lasting contribution to peace between Ireland and Britain.
The former Fine Gael leader, who helped negotiate the Anglo-Irish Agreement, died just hours after the Queen made a historic reconciliation speech in Dublin Castle, made possible by the 1985 accord.
"By some miracle of insight he woke up in his final agony, in a way, to see the Queen and president on the television on Tuesday night," Fr McDonagh said.
"It was the culmination of what he had, for so long, strove.."
Tributes poured in for Dr Fitz-Gerald following his death aged 85 on Thursday.