"Gerry never gave up trying. He never gave up fighting the good fight"
Hundreds attended the funeral mass of anti-smoking campaigner Gerry Collins in Co Wicklow earlier today.
A packed congregation at the Holy Rosary Church in Greystones paid their final respects to the 57-year-old businessman, who had succumbed to lung cancer last Sunday.
He had beaten throat cancer in 2008 and had given his energies as the face of a HSE anti-smoking campaign before his death.
Mixed emotions were felt as Gerry’s friend John Kelly delivered a heartfelt but humorous eulogy.
“He told me not to make a bags of it. He joked about how he would love to be here,” he said, remembering the man who “never gave up trying”.
One of the priests who held the mass also said that his close friend Gerry "never gave up fighting the good fight”.
“He was always trying to rise above whatever difficulties life presented,” said Fr John McDonagh.
Gerry Collins is survived by his wife Delly, his two daughters, Lisa and Ciara, and his son Stephen.
His family presented a series of gifts at the mass to represent his various life passions, including a history book, a guitar and a Kilmacud Crokes football jersey.
They had asked for any donations to be sent to the Blackrock Hospice where Gerry spent his final days.