Monday 5 December 2016

The Three Amigos say their last goodbyes to legendary Bill O'Herlihy

Published 30/05/2015 | 02:30

The late Bill O'Herlihy
The late Bill O'Herlihy
Hilary O’Herlihy, wife of Bill O’Herlihy, with daughters Sally and Jill outside the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock yesterday
President Michael D Higgins (centre) in conversation with football pundits Eamon Dunphy and John Giles
Olivia Tracey with Marty Morrissey
Miriam O’Callaghan and her mother, Miriam, attend the funeral Mass in Foxrock yesterday

His favourite dessert was a fiendishly sugary concoction of jelly, custard, ice-cream, and cream - topped off with a dollop of good old-fashioned rice pudding.

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When his children were small, he told magical bedtime stories which always held an important moral.

He was "the best dad", a "brilliant granddad", and "the most caring, loyal and wonderful husband".

And he believed that God works in mysterious ways.

Hilary O'Herlihy, wife of Bill, pictured with her two daughters Sally and Jill as they arrive at the Church of Our Lady Foxrock for Bill O'Herlihy's
Hilary O'Herlihy, wife of Bill, pictured with her two daughters Sally and Jill as they arrive at the Church of Our Lady Foxrock for Bill O'Herlihy's
John Giles and Eamonn help carry the remains of Bill O Herlihy from The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Rugby pundits Brent Pope and Paul Wallace pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Richie Sadlier pictured Hilary O Herlihy , wife of Bill O Herlihy, outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Nora Owen pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Ray Houghton pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
President Michael D Higgins pictured with Eamon Dunphy, outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Brian Kerr and Sean Kelly pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
RTE Des Cahill pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Frank Flannery comforts Hilary O Herlihy , wife of Bill O Herlihy, outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Lorraine Keane pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Sports commentator George Hamilton pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Mary Hanafin pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
RTE's Sean O Rourke pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Liam Brady helps carry the remains of Bill O Herlihy as Hilary O Herlihy wife of Bill O Herlihy pictured with her two daughters Sally and Jill look on at the Church of Our Lady Foxrock. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Eoghan Harris pictured outside The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
RTE's Marty Morrissey pictured with Olivia Tracey, pictured The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock after the Funeral mass for Bill O Herlihy. 29/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
Miriam O'Callaghan arriving at the church with her mother
Des Cahill arriving at the church for the funeral of Bill O'Herlihy
Tom McGurk, left, and Brent Pope arriving at the church
Peter Collins arriving for the funeral of Bill O'Herlihy
Ryle Nugent arriving at the church for the funeral of Bill O'Herlihy
President Higgins
Des Cahill arriving at the church
Liam Brady pictured outside the Church of Our Lady Foxrock for Bill O Herlihy's funeral mass
Hilary O'Herlihy, wife of Bill, pictured with her two daughters Sally and Jill as they arrive at the Church of Our Lady Foxrock for Bill O'Herlihy's
Liam Brady, centre, helps lift coffin from hearse to church

These were the precious off-screen moments in Bill O'Herlihy's life which did not make it into our living rooms - but are cherished by his beloved family, his wife Hillary, daughters Sally and Jill and his five "adorable" grandchildren.

Read more: Obituary: Bill O'Herlihy, sports broadcaster

Never a great one for technology, he miraculously got the hang of text messaging once he got hold of Ronan O'Gara's number and frequently dispatched analysis to him on his rugby performance, Sally told mourners.

Iconic

Crowds filled the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at Dublin's Foxrock for the funeral of the iconic RTE broadcaster, PR guru and Chairman of the Irish Film Board.

Flags outside RTÉ flew at half-mast as Bill's "dysfunctional family"- Eamon Dunphy, John Giles and Liam Brady - sorrowfully carried their great compadre and referee from the church.

President Michael D Higgins and Aide de Camp to the Taoiseach, Kieran Carey, were in attendance.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys, former Fianna Fáil minister Mary Hanafin, film producer Lelia Doolan; broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan with her mother Miriam were also present, along with a host of RTÉ sports presenters.

Mr O'Herlihy's good friend and chief celebrant Fr Tom O'Keeffe of Cabinteely parish said the two great pillars of Mr O'Herlihy's life were "faith and family", praising his "goodness, generosity, infectious joy and integrity".

Read more: Bill O'Herlihy's wife and daughters lead mourners in sorrowful goodbye to legendary broadcaster

Forced to leave RTÉ's current affairs department in the 1970s after an exposé on illegal moneylenders, Mr O'Herlihy felt the "hand of God" directing him towards the sports department where he "flourished".

There was laughter in the church as Fr O'Keeffe referred to RTÉ's soccer panel as Mr O' Herlihy's "dysfunctional family, the Three Amigos".

A prayer of the faithful was said by Dunphy, that talents would be used to make the world a better place.

Giles prayed that the memories of Bill O'Herlihy would be a source of comfort and strength.

And then, for the very last time, they left it there, so.

Irish Independent

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