Thursday 21 September 2017

'Frank had 'two o'clock in the morning courage' - mourners at funeral of Father Ted star Frank Kelly told

The coffin is carried to the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
The coffin is carried to the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
Barbara Kelly is consoled outside the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock where the funeral of her husband Frank Kelly took place.
Actor Ardal O'Hanlon arrives at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
President, Michael D higgins and his wife Sabina arrive at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
Barbara Kelly, right, with her daughter, outside the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock where the funeral of her husband Frank Kelly took place
Gay Byrne arrives at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
Writers of Father Ted, Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews arrive at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
Writers of Father Ted, Graham Linehan, right, and Arthur Matthews arrive at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
Former judge, Hugh O'Flaherty arrives at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
John Colgan arrives at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 2/3/2016
Actor, Eamon Morrissey arrives at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina warmly greeted the family of iconic actor Frank Kelly at his funeral today.

The star best known for playing Father Jack in the hit series Father Ted passed away unexpectedly after a long illness at the age of 77.

Writers of Father Ted, Graham Linehan, right, and Arthur Matthews arrive at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly
Writers of Father Ted, Graham Linehan, right, and Arthur Matthews arrive at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly

He had battled Parkinson's disease, cancer and heart failure before finally succumbing to a heart attack.

His beloved wife of 51 years, Bairbre, children Aideen, Fíona, Jayne, Ruth, Emmet, Stephen and Rachel and 17 grand children, his brothers Aidan and David, sister Pauline led mourners at the funeral.

John Colgan arrives at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 2/3/2016
John Colgan arrives at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock for the funeral of Frank Kelly. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 2/3/2016

Read More: 'Frank Kelly has died but neither he nor Father Jack will ever leave us' - Pat Stacey

They included Father Ted writers Graham Lenihan and Arthur Matthews, Ardal O'Hanlon and two of Dermot Morgan's sons, Don and Rob.

Frank and Bairbre first met at the Gaiety Theatre while appearing in a Brecht play and married three years later in 1964.

Gifts brought to the alter symbolising his life included a picture of the 40 Foot where he loved to swim, a picture of the family pet, Lucky who was "missing him already," the crossword he loved to do every day and his recently published autobiography "The Next Gig".

Chief celebrant Fr Bill Fortune said he had a very active, creative and worthwhile life and described him as having what Napoleon called "two o'clock in the morning courage".

He said he often thought Frank had a lot in common with classic comedy writer PG Wodehouse - with both bringing "real joy, humour and laughter to literally millions of people."

As well as his memorable role in Father Ted, Kelly played councillor Parnell Mooney in Hall's Pictorial Weekly -  which won him a Jacob's Award in 1974.

He also appeared in Glenroe between 1999 and 2001 and later spent five months on the cast of ITV soap Emmerdale.

 In 2014 he appeared as the judge in Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie.

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