Friday 14 December 2018

Farewell to Dubliners' Eamonn, who died doing what he loved best

Eddie Furey, Seán Cannon and Paddy Reilly help to carry the remains of Dubliner Eamonn Campbell from St Agnes Church, Crumlin Photo: Kyran O’Brien and Colin Keegan
Eddie Furey, Seán Cannon and Paddy Reilly help to carry the remains of Dubliner Eamonn Campbell from St Agnes Church, Crumlin Photo: Kyran O’Brien and Colin Keegan
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

Family and friends have marked the passing of a former member of The Dubliners, Eamonn Campbell, in an emotional and music-filled funeral Mass.

The renowned guitarist and record producer passed away just over a week ago, "doing what he loved best" touring in Holland.

Mr Campbell had a successful career spanning more than 50 years and that was reflected in the large congregation who gathered at his funeral Mass at St Agnes Church in Crumlin village yesterday.

Among them was Dublin singer Imelda May, who sang a stunning version of 'The Rare Ould Times' along with singer Paul Watchorn.

Dublin players Eoghan O’Gara and Philly McMahon help carry the coffin into the church Photo: Kyran O’Brien and Colin Keegan
Dublin players Eoghan O’Gara and Philly McMahon help carry the coffin into the church Photo: Kyran O’Brien and Colin Keegan

During the course of the Mass, Campbell was remembered as a devoted family man and as a fan of the Irish soccer team and the Dublin GAA team.

The Sam Maguire cup was placed on his wicker coffin at the Mass, alongside a bunch of lillies.

Dublin players Eoghan O'Gara and Philly McMahon were among the pall-bearers who carried the musician's remains into the church.

In a moving tribute, his daughter Ciara told how her father was a devoted family man and "a friend to many".

He was born in 1946 in Drogheda, Co Louth. His life took a major turn at the age of 10, when listening to Radio Luxembourg and he heard Elvis Presley, she recalled.

"At the ripe old age of 11, he got his first guitar and taught himself how to play," she said.

Eamonn Campbell pictured in 2013.
Eamonn Campbell pictured in 2013.

A career in music beckoned and he turned fully professional in 1964.

She said: "His favourite saying was, 'They won't stop me singing till they put me in the ground'."

Campbell was an only child, but made up for it with his own large family, she said.

Ciara recalled how he met her mother Noreen in 1987 and won her over with his charm and big smile.

"The craic was never far away when my Dad was around," she said.

Ciara said that in the days since his death, the family had heard so many stories of his kindness and generosity to other people, which had flooded in.

Meanwhile, in a poem, his daughter Niamh said: "You've always told me that no matter what, you'd never stop loving me. Goodbye, Dad, it's your time to be free."

In latter years, Campbell (70) had continued to tour and play concerts with The Dublin Legends, and his band-mates were present yesterday to say their sad goodbye to him.

Campbell is survived by his wife Noreen and children Paddy, Eamon (Jacko), Franky, Emma-Jane, Niamh and Ciara.

Irish Independent

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