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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Fred Cogley, the 'voice of rugby', is laid to rest

Funeral of former sports broadcaster Fred Cogley at St. Joseph’s Church, Terenure today. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Funeral of former sports broadcaster Fred Cogley at St. Joseph’s Church, Terenure today. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Neil Fetherston

A guard of honour by his former St Mary's College, Rathmines schoolmates carried the coffin of legendary sports broadcaster Fred Cogley to the waiting hearse at St Joseph's Church, Terenure, yesterday.

The man known as the 'voice of rugby' for generations of Irish fans was laid to rest at Kilmashogue Cemetery in Rathfarnham after the packed service that was attended by his family - including his widow Madeleine, sons David and Niall and daughters Michelle and Denise.

Berkeley balcony tragedy survivor Clodagh Cogley at the funeral of her grandfather Fred Cogley at St Joseph’s Church, Terenure, yesterday Photos: Fergal Phillips
Berkeley balcony tragedy survivor Clodagh Cogley at the funeral of her grandfather Fred Cogley at St Joseph’s Church, Terenure, yesterday Photos: Fergal Phillips

Among the mourners were his grandchildren Daragh, Katie, Roisin, Elaine, Eva and Jena as well as psychology student Clodagh Cogley, who was badly injured in the Berkeley balcony tragedy.

Cogley's father was Mitchel Cogley, an Irish Independent sports journalist. Fred's son Niall followed him into broadcasting, becoming director of broadcasting at TV3.

Yesterday, Niall described his father as a man who loved to make people smile.

"He would be a little embarrassed listening to us today, saying how great he was, as he was a very humble man and a very modest man," he said. "He was also very generous. He was a family man, who adored his wife, who adored his children, and who adored his grandchildren.

Former Ireland soccer boss Brian Kerr Photo: Fergal Phillips
Former Ireland soccer boss Brian Kerr Photo: Fergal Phillips

"He was man ahead of his time as he always offered us a kiss," Niall added between tears. "And we never doubted about how dad felt about us. And that's a great thing to say." Niall's brother, David, added that the fact there were so many family friends from the early days at the service was a tribute to his father's ability to make and keep friends.

Read More: Obituary: Fred Cogley

"It's amazing when you think about it, that all these names I knew growing up, people I considered our extended family, are all here with us today," he said. One of those family friends was Fr Pat Fitzpatrick who travelled from Canada to say the Mass.

Outside rugby, Fred Cogley covered 11 FIFA World Cups and 12 Olympiads. He started as a radio commentator at the age of 16 in 1950.   

Sunday Independent

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