THE removal service of All-Ireland winning Dublin footballer and manager Kevin ‘Heffo’ Heffernan was told this evening the humble GAA legend always refused to accept that he was exceptional.
An estimated 800 people attended the service at St Vincent de Paul church on Griffith Avenue on the capital’s northside.
Mr Heffernan’s coffin was brought to the church from St Francis Hospice in Raheny, and it stopped outside Parnell Park, the home of Dublin GAA, and at the entrance to St Vincent’s – his beloved club – on the way.
He was carried the final few yards into the church by five different sets of pallbearers – members of Clontarf Golf Club, members of the Dublin team he built towards All-Ireland success in the 1970s, then members of his 1983 All-Ireland winning team, followed by St Vincent’s players who are current or recent members of the Dublin senior team.
Finally, he was carried into the church by close friends, including former Dublin manager Pat Gilroy.
“The huge attendance we have here tonight, and all the publicity is a testament to those achievements,” Mr Hayden said.
“Despite all of that, he resolutely, right through his life, he resolutely refused to be considered to be an exceptional person in any sense. Those of you who know him well will know he always kept his feet firmly on the ground.”
Mr Heffernan’s funeral mass takes place tomorrow morning.