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Saving lives a legacy to hero Gerry

ANTI-SMOKING campaigner Gerry Collins "never gave up trying", mourners were told yesterday at his funeral Mass.

Evidence of this was to be seen on TV screens across the country last night, as two HSE Quit ads featuring him were broadcast.

The businessman, who beat throat cancer in 2008, came to public attention three years later as the face of an HSE anti-smoking campaign.

The Wicklow man went public in the hope of inspiring others to quit smoking and avoid the pain of illness and bereavement.

At Mass yesterday, his daughter Ciara described the Quit campaign as her father's "unbelievable legacy".

It was sadly poignant that Gerry Collins passed away at the start of Quit Week.

But the lives of many ex-smokers have surely been lengthened, if not saved, as a result of his appeals.

Any and all smokers who are thinking of quitting should watch the two ads he features in this week.