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Sad 2019 for Irish talent as host of celebrity deaths shocked the nation – Irish Mirror

From the shocking death of comedy icon Brendan Grace to the sad passing of veteran TV host Gay Byrne, 2019 saw the end of an era in many areas of Irish talent.

Ahead of Friday’s Late Late special dedicated to Grace, we took a look back at some of the celebrity deaths that shocked the nation this year.

Brendan Grace

Hearts broke around the globe when it was announced that acclaimed comedian Brendan Grace sadly passed away just weeks after he was diagnosed with lung cancer in July.

Hundreds of fans, friends and famous faces lined the streets of the Liberties to celebrate his life on the day of his funeral, while tributes flooded in online for the Father Ted star.

Ahead of his untimely death, the 68-year-old icon began working on a documentary series for RTE following his journey to put on a show with the Forget-Me-Nots choir.



Brendan Grace Thanks for the Memories



Brendan Grace’s funeral.

However, despite being diagnosed during the filming, Grace was determined that the show would go on, and filmed his final days for the show from his hospital bed.

Viewers were overcome with emotion when the show went to air, and praised his nearest and dearest for allowing it to make the screen.

RTE will air Brendan Grace – A Late Late Show Tribute, where Ryan Tubridy will look back on the life and times of the late, great comedian, with heartwarming clips from over the years.

Gay Byrne



Gay Byrne funeral

A cloud of sadness and nostalgia spread across the nation when Gay Byrne sadly lost his battle with cancer.

The 85-year-old passed away peacefully at home in November, surrounded by his wife Kathleen, children Crona and Suzy, and their grandkids.

The iconic TV host became a household name when he began working on RTE’s Late Late Show in the 60’s.

During his time with the station, the veteran presenter made an incredible impact on the lives of viewers, listeners and fellow presenters, too.

And while tributes flooded in for the former Late Late Show host in every publication and media platform around the country, the public broadcaster aired a Late Late Show special to say goodbye to the former host, listen to stories from former colleagues and friends and recall his contribution.

Niall Tóibín



Niall Toibin


The cortege leaves church after funeral mass pictured this afternoon at the funeral of Niall Toibin at the Church of St. Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus.

Irish actor and comedian Niall Tóibín sadly passed away in November, following a lengthy illness.

The 89-year-old Ballykissangel, who starred in countless tv shows and movies in both Ireland and abroad, is best known for playing Father MacAnally in the hit BBC series which ran from 1996 until 2001, starring opposite Stephen Tompkinson and Dervla Kirwan.

Stars flocked to the funeral of the legendary Cork actor and comic in Dublin last month to pay tribute to their late friend and co-star.

Among those paying their respects were President Michael D Higgins, actors Aiden Gillen, Geraldine Plunkett and Stephen Rea and Jon Kenny of the D’Unbelievables.

The Cork native is survived by his children Sean, Muireann, Aisling, Sighle and Fiana.

His wife Judy died in 2002.

Karl Shiels



Karl Shiels
Karl Shiels’ final scene in Fair City.

There was an outpouring of grief across the nation and the UK when the news of Fair City star Karl Shiels’ sudden passing was announced in August.

The Dubliner, who played Robbie Quinn in the RTE drama, was filming just days before he died suddenly aged 47 and was due to ‘play a major role’ in the soaps 30th Anniversary special.

Famous faces from the world of Irish showbiz turned out in their hundreds for his funeral in Dublin.

Past and present cast members of the hit show were among the mourners including Eric Lalor and Joe Hanley as well as actors Rex Ryan and Seana Kerslake.

Former Fair City pals Jenny Dixon, George McMahon, Johnny Ward and Clelia Murphy, were just to a few to share emotional words about the actor, before he was laid to rest.

Meanwhile, Fair City fans said goodbye to his character too in poignant scenes which saw his on-screen love Carol and friends say their goodbye’s to his character.

Among those Karl leaves behind are his loving partner Laura Honan, twin daughters Iseabel and Saoirse and their mother Dearbhla.

Philomena Lynott



Philomena Lynott.


A wreath from the Band U2 at the funeral of Philomena Lynott

Philomena Lynott was remembered as “a force of nature” as mourners gathered at her funeral in Dublin in June.

The voice of her son Phil, lead singer and bassist with Thin Lizzy, filled St Fintan’s Church in Sutton on Monday afternoon as friends and family gathered to remember Ms Lynott, who died at her home in Sutton on June 12th, aged 88.

A host of Irish stars paid tribute to the mum of Thin Lizzy rocker Phil at the time of her passing with U2 sending their respects to the Dublin woman with a floral wreath signed: “Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam.”

Retired RTE star Anne Doyle said she attended the funeral to ensure Philomena got the send off she deserved.

Tom Jordan



Tom Jordan during ‘Fair City’ shoot (1989)



Tom Jordan as Charlie Kelly, Jim Bartley as Bela Doyle and Bryan Murray as Bob Charles in ‘Fair City’ (2017)

Fair City star Tom Jordan was remembered as a “true gentleman” and “magic” to work with by his cast mates when the sad news of his passing emerged in July.

The veteran actor was one of the longest serving cast member, playing Charlie Kelly since the soap’s beginnings in 1989.

The Dublin man was born in Marino but lived in Beaumont with his wife and six children for 50 years, before moving to Roscommon in 2015.

Leading the tributes to the star was Brigie de Courcy, Executive Producer of Fair City who remembered him as “the heart of Fair City”.

“This is devastating news. Tom Jordan was the heart of Fair City. He played Charlie Kelly from the very first episode and was a huge part of our plans for the future.”


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Source: irishmirror.ie

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