Wednesday 25 April 2018

'Brendan we love you so, so much' - Brother of GAA star and dad-of-three Brendan Reilly pays tribute at funeral

"If I could only be half the man Brendan was I’d be doing very well" - Barry Reilly pays tribute to his brother Brendan
The remains of Louth GAA Player Brendan Reilly are brought from The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Tenure Co Louth for burial. Pic Steve Humphreys
Mourners gather for the funeral mass of GAA Player Brendan Reilly at The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Tenure Co Louth. Pic Steve Humphreys
The remains of Louth GAA Player Brendan Reilly are carried from The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Tenure Co Louth following his funeral mass. Pic Steve Humphreys
The remains of Louth GAA Player Brendan Reilly brought to The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Tenure Co Louth. Pic Steve Humphreys

Ian Begley

The brother of the GAA star who died suddenly at the weekend held back tears as he described how loved he was within his community.

Hundreds of mourners packed into the Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure, Co Louth, yesterday morning to bid farewell to Brendan 'Benny' Reilly.

The former Louth defender’s coffin was draped in his county’s colours, along with family photos and personal items that he cherished.

The 38-year-old's team mates from Naomh Mairtin GAA were among the many who attended his funeral, along with his previous club John Mitchels.

Brendan Reilly
Brendan Reilly

His brother Barry paid an emotional tribute to him during the poignant service.

"If I could only be half the man Brendan was I’d be doing very well," he said.

Brendan (right) in action for the Mairtin’s against St Mary’s last Saturday
Brendan (right) in action for the Mairtin’s against St Mary’s last Saturday

"Brendan was a family man, a devoted husband to Lisa, a loving father to Saoirse, Amy and Baby Harry.

"I got the honour of being best man for Brendan. He was that excited about marrying her that he had the date and venue booked before he actually proposed to her.

The remains of Louth GAA Player Brendan Reilly are brought from The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Tenure Co Louth for burial. Pic Steve Humphreys
The remains of Louth GAA Player Brendan Reilly are brought from The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Tenure Co Louth for burial. Pic Steve Humphreys

"He had only eyes for Lisa. With his black curly hair, dark eyebrows and cheeky smile, he won her heart over.

"He was just smitten with his two little girls. He loved nothing more than to dress them up as little angels and show them off to the world, one in each hand.  Then along came Baby Harry and his family was complete."

In addition to his great love of sports, Brendan was also passionate about fashion and music.

"He loved his blazers, his tailored shirts and lately skinny jeans," added his brother.

"He was a pure entertainer, loved to tell stories and sing a great song.

"His party piece was always singing Folsom Prison Blues.

"He wasn’t just a leader on the field but a leader off the field. If there was ever a problem or if you needed a voice Benny was the man. Even though he was the youngest of nine he was always the wisest.

"Brendan we love you so so much and we will miss you," said Barry.

After the service, Brendan was laid to rest in Monasterboice Cemetery.

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