Fond farewell to legendary puppeteer
HE thrilled generations of Irish children with his puppeteering skills and last night friends and family said a loving farewell to Eugene Lambert.
Around 200 people gathered at St Patrick's Church in Monkstown, Co Dublin, when his remains were brought from his home on nearby Clifton Terrace.
Among the mourners was actor Bill Goulding, who played Fortycoats in Lambert's much-loved RTE creation 'Wanderly Wagon', along with 'Father Ted' star and 'Wanderly Wagon' scriptwriter Frank Kelly, and playwright Frank McGuinness.
They joined his widow Mai Lambert and the couple's children Judy, Gene, Miriam, David, Paula, Noel, Liam, Conor, grandchildren and great-great children.
Fr Michael McGoldrick described Mr Lambert as a friend and a "wonderful, gifted entertainer who had brought joy to generations of Irish children".
He recalled visiting the Lambert Puppet Workshop and the level of care and attention he had seen Eugene Lambert putting into each of his creations.
"Only the best was good enough," said Fr McGoldrick.
Describing the Sligo native as a man who used his talents "very, very well", the priest said that nothing seemed to give Mr Lambert more pleasure than seeing "children laughing and enjoying his puppet shows".
Along with a great sense of humour, he said he knew that Mr Lambert remained very proud of his family.
Mr Lambert's funeral will take place this morning after 10am Requiem Mass followed by burial at Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankill.
Family flowers only, with donations, if desired, to Crumlin Children's Hospital, or Temple Street Children's Hospital.