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'Dad bled love': Actor James Nesbitt pays tribute to his late father (91)

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A final journey: Actor James Nesbitt (centre) carries his father James Sr’s casket outside the family home in Castlerock, Co Derry, yesterday. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

A final journey: Actor James Nesbitt (centre) carries his father James Sr’s casket outside the family home in Castlerock, Co Derry, yesterday. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

A final journey: Actor James Nesbitt (centre) carries his father James Sr’s casket outside the family home in Castlerock, Co Derry, yesterday. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt has paid tribute to his sisters for looking after their father until his death.

James Nesbitt Sr died last Friday, aged 91. He was the former headmaster of a primary school in Lisnamurrican, near Broughshane in Co Antrim.

Prayers and tributes were said outside the family home in Castlerock, near Coleraine, Co Derry, before his burial at Downhill.

Nesbitt described his father as a "great listener" and said that shortly before his death he had been writing a history of his life.

"You can imagine how long that took," he told mourners.

"He was also planning for his funeral and he wrote, 'I would like to dedicate this reading to all those, paid or unpaid, family or strangers, who have cared for me in my years of affliction. I suppose I am a rather elderly, widowed, orphan'.

"This reading, to my mind, sums up Dad. Dad bled love.

"I want to thank all who have been in Dad's life - his beloved wife and my mother May, and his sisters, his daughters and nieces and his friends, his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all those who he adored and loved. Dad was so proud of Margaret, Kathryn and Andrea. They cared for him and loved him, he adored them and was so proud.

"It wasn't always easy and Kathryn probably saw that more than most as she dedicated so much of the last year of her life to looking after him.

"There's no hierarchy of grief. Margaret, Kathryn and Andrea will miss Dad terribly and they will miss him because they loved him."

A song by Harry Connick Jr was played as the cortege passed mourners lining the route to the burial.

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