Friday 30 September 2016

Friends and family bid farewell to 'Joey the Lips'

Published 27/02/2016 | 11:10

'Joey the Lips' in The Commitments
'Joey the Lips' in The Commitments
Johnny Murphy as Joey ‘The Lips’ in ‘The Commitments’.
Johnny Murphy: A veteran of stage and screen including his role as Joey ‘The Lips’ Fagan in The Commitments.

It took an armed raid on a post office for Commitments actor Johnny Murphy to realise the extent of his fame.

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At the celebration of the life of the actor - who played Joey 'The Lips' Fagan in the hit movie - his friend and fellow actor Garrett Keogh said not long after the film's success, Johnny was on his way to the Inchicore United Workmans Club.

As he passed the post office, people ran out screaming that it was being robbed, and Johnny saw a car beside him with the engine running.

The raiders then ran out with balaclavas, guns and bags of money - and one bag fell at Johnny's feet.

One of the robbers bent down to retrieve it and, as he got up again, he looked at him and said: "Ah, Joey the Lips!" before jumping into the getaway car.

Famous faces from stage and screen gathered yesterday for the farewell at Mount Jerome. Johnny (72) died on Tuesday after a battle with cancer.

Garrett also said his friend from Drimnagh was not great at travelling, and recounted the story of how he was supposed to be in Australia but missed the connecting flight in London.

Lounge

Johnny had read the words "Wait in lounge" beside his flight number on the departures screen and went to the lounge bar.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina attended the ceremony and paid their respects.

Chief mourners were Johnny's daughter Niamh, granddaughter Caoimhe and brother Archie.

Also in attendance were Commitments actors Robert Arkins, Bronagh Gallagher, Dick Massey and Michael Aherne.

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