Tuesday 20 August 2019

'He’s the only man who can boast that he wore out ten coffins' - funeral of entertainer Paddy Drac told

Paddy Drac pictured relaxing at his home in Tallaght, before he takes part in his final St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.
Paddy Drac pictured relaxing at his home in Tallaght, before he takes part in his final St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.
The funeral of Paddy "Drac" Finlay in St Dominic's Church in Tallaght Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM
Undertakers Christy O’Reilly, left and Paul Massey adjust funeral flowers at the funeral of Paddy "Drac Finlay" in St Dominicas Church in Tallaght Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM
'Paddy Drac' during the St Patrick's day parade through Dublin city centre on St Patrick's Day.
Celebration: Paddy Drac and Keith Doyle, from Stewarts care home in Palmerstown, during the Dublin Taxi Drivers special children’s outing 2018 at Parnell Square. Photos: Tony Gavin
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

TALLAGHT legend Paddy Finlay, best known as entertainer Paddy Drac, has been remembered as a man of mischief, a man of fun, and a man who loved his family and friends.

The popular Dracula impersonator died last week at the age of 74 shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.

Paddy will be best known to the public for his annual appearance as Dracula in the Dublin St Patrick’s Day parade, a role he performed with honour from 1969 until 2018 before illness stopped him.

St Dominic’s Church in Millbrook Lawns in Tallaght was packed to capacity today as family, friends, and neighbors bade him farewell.

The funeral of Paddy
The funeral of Paddy "Drac" Finlay in St Dominic's Church in Tallaght Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM

Speaking at the end of the mass, his son Graham told many tales of Paddy’s life, his days growing up in Crumlin, and his life as Dracula.

“He’s the only man who can boast that he wore out ten coffins in his life,” he said to laughter.

Graham said when his father was growing up he was always starting rows with his mischievous ways, such as knocking on Brendan Behan’s door and running away, or stealing the straw out of disabled writer Christy Brown’s pint.

Fr Larry Collins remembered Paddy as “a real character and a real Christian who cared for the weakest in our society.”

Undertakers Christy O’Reilly, left and Paul Massey adjust funeral flowers at the funeral of Paddy
Undertakers Christy O’Reilly, left and Paul Massey adjust funeral flowers at the funeral of Paddy "Drac Finlay" in St Dominicas Church in Tallaght Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM

“He would help the children with special needs, he had a great heart, that was a lovely side of him,” he added.

“Paddy was never in bad humour even though he had many crosses to carry. He was always available and gave his time and energy for no fee,” said Fr Collins.

After mass Paddy’s coffin was carried from the church to a round of applause as Joe Dolan’s Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller played from the speakers.

Outside, The Monster Mash song by Bobby Pickett and I Want To Break Free by Queen played from the speakers of the hearse as his coffin was loaded into it.

Paddy is survived by his wife Breda, son Graham, and granddaughter Ruby.

Comedian Syl Fox and local councillor Charlie O’Connor attended the funeral.

Burial took place in Newlands Cemetery.

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