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'His only vocation in life was to make people happy' - Crowds gather to say farewell to Brendan Grace

Brendan Grace's only vocation in life was to make people happy, his funeral mass has heard.

Large crowds lined the streets of the Liberties in Dublin today to pay their respects to the much-loved entertainer.

Fr Brian Darcy told mourners that the veteran entertainer's memory would forever live on.

"As long as a person's memory lives and as long as we live, Brendan Grace will never die because all of us have enthusiastic, brilliant and long-lasting, life-lasting and life-changing memories of the wonderful man that he was - the humanity of the man, the generosity of the man, the goodness of the man," Fr Darcy said.


In his homily, Fr Brian D'Arcy, spoke about Bottler - one of Brendan's most loved characters.

He said: "Eileen said to me the other day, she said 'I've lost two. Not one. I've lost Brendan and I've lost Bottler'.

"In fact when Amanda rang me the other day to tell me that Brendan had died she introduced herself as... Brian, I'm Amanda, Bottler's daughter."

Fr D'Arcy added: "All [Brendan's] vocation in life was quite simply, nothing more and nothing less, than to lift the gloom of the nation... to lift the gloom of the people who came to see him."

Speaking at his funeral mass at the Church of St Nicholas of Myra in the Liberties today, Fr Darcy said the entertainer's legacy to the world would be one of goodness, laughter and generosity.

"All of his vocation in life was quite simply, nothing more, nothing less, than to lift the gloom of the nation and to lift the gloom of the people who came to see him," he said.

He added: "His only vocation in life was to make people happy."

Fr Darcy, a lifelong friend of Grace, told mourners the comedian was a unifying force.

Picture: Maxwells

"Everybody loved Brendan Grace, protestant, catholic, young, old, cultured, uncultured. It didn't matter what you were. Educated, non-educated. They all loved Brendan," he said.

There was standing-room only for the large crowd of mourners inside the church. The huge crowd outside the church listened to the mass on speakers.

Comedian Brendan O'Carroll, former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, entertainer Twink and singer Dickie Rock were among those who attended the mass.

One woman and her family travelled from different parts of the country to stand outside for the service.

She told Newstalk's Shane Beatty: "My three sisters came from Limerick today, and I came from Cavan, just to say goodbye to Brendan.

"He gave us a lot of fun over the years. My first time seeing him was this time 34 years ago, and I've seen him maybe 10 or 15 years since... I love the man."

The entertainer died last week following a battle with lung cancer.