Final chapter for Derek Davis, gifted storyteller who loved life
"In his final chapter, Dad was at his absolute best," Michael Davis, the son of late broadcaster Derek Davis, proudly told the hundreds of mourners crowded into Mount Jerome Crematorium in Dublin yesterday.
"I could not have asked for a greater father, a better teacher or a more reliable friend. And I could not be prouder to be his son."
The presenter, who died last Wednesday following a stroke, was remembered by friends and colleagues as a "garrulous storyteller" and keen angler who loved life, his family "and the excitement of a tight line" at his funeral in Dublin yesterday.
Live at Three co-host Thelma Mansfield, Gay Byrne, Derry and Sally Anne Clarke, Charlie Bird, Anne Doyle, Syl Fox, Bobby Kerr, and Tom McGurk all attended the emotional service.
President Michael D Higgins was represented by his Aide de Camp, Lieutenant Commander Patricia Butler, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny was represented by Commandant Kieran Carey.
An a capella version of Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World' played as Davis's coffin was carried through the doors of the church.
Davis's sudden death left his family "reeling in bewilderment" as their lives were "jerked out of control".
However, mourners were reminded of Michel de Montaigne's words: "The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them."
During the ceremony, friends and family members recalled Davis's razor-sharp wit, his gift for storytelling, and his questionable taste in suit jackets.
The funeral service was punctuated with some of Davis's favourite songs including 'Raglan Road' and 'The Parting Glass'.
RTÉ managing director Glen Killane described Davis as one of the "most popular men in RTÉ".
"The sense of shock around the station is palpable," he said.
"He was hugely entertaining and had a wonderful turn of phrase.
"He grabbed life by the scruff of the neck and lived every day. He was a hugely talented broadcaster."