Saturday 27 May 2017

Mourners united in praise and grief for George Byrne

George Byrne's body being removed from the church
George Byrne's body being removed from the church
The funeral mass of journalist John 'George' Byrne at Saint Nicholas of Myra Church in Francis Street, Dublin
George Byrne
Ray Darcy
Independent News and Media Editor-in-Chief Stephen Rae and retired Independent Newspapers Managing Editor Michael Denieffe at the funeral mass of journalist John 'George' Byrne at Saint Nicholas of Myra Church in Francis Street, Dublin
Christy Dignam lead singer with Aslan and band member Billy McGuinness at the funeral mass of journalist John 'George' Byrne at Saint Nicholas of Myra Church in Francis Street, Dublin
Dave Fanning at George Byrne's funeral yesterday

Alan O'Keeffe

Music, stories and sometimes laughter punctuated the final farewell to much-loved journalist George Byrne at his Requiem Mass at Saint Nicholas of Myra Church in The Liberties in Dublin yesterday.

Herald film critic John 'George' Byrne died last Thursday, aged 56.

Broadcaster Tom Dunne told the huge congregation of their 36-year friendship, from their days as young musicians.

George had been a bass guitarist with Autobop and with The Gorehounds - and Tom went on to be vocalist with Something Happens.

Up until his death, George was a regular Thursday night guest talking about movies on Tom's show on Newstalk radio.

"George was a fount of knowledge about music, film and pop culture.

"His writing was passionate, insightful, informed and very funny," he said.

There was laughter when he referred to George being "famously argumentative" as he "liked a row" and loved being provocative when it came to sacred cows.

"But I loved him for his beautiful gentleness and his childlike excitement in the little things," he said.

Paul McLoone of The Undertones sang 'Teenage Kicks' and Billy Kilkenny and Michael Kenny sang 'Bring Him Home'.

Fr Michael Mernagh extended his sympathy to George's parents Michael and Kay, sister Andrea, girlfriend Julie, relatives and friends.

He extended a special welcome to Lt Commander Patricia Butler, who represented President Michael D Higgins as his aide de camp.

Irish Independent

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