Emotional scenes as stars gather to pay their respects to legendary sports broadcaster Jimmy Magee
Jimmy Magee, AKA the 'Memory Man', was laid to rest amid emotional scenes in Dublin today.
But the memories that the legendary sports commentator gave to everyone who knew him and the sporting public at large will live on forever.
It was standing room only at the Church of St Laurence O’Toole in Kilmacud this morning as figures from the world of sport, entertainment and the media industry turned up to pay their final respects.
The former RTE broadcaster passed away after a short illness at St Vincent's University Hospital on Tuesday night and is survived by children Linda, June, Patricia and Mark while he was predeceased by his late son Paul and wife Marie.
The funeral cortege arrived shortly before 11.30am on a dreary morning in Dublin and the procession was met by members of the Jimmy Magee All Stars programme who formed a guard of honour as the hearse carrying his coffin arrived.
His coffin was met at the church steps by his close friend Father Brian D'Arcy, who delivered an emotional eulogy lasting nearly 45 minutes as tributes were paid to the man who had touched so many lives.
Attendees included former Ireland captain and current assistant manager Roy Keane, FAI CEO John Delaney and partner Emma English, Sports Minister Shane Ross, Olympic boxers Michael Carruth, Bernard Dunne and Kenneth Egan.
Also among attendees at his funeral today were many staff of the Sunday World and its publisher Independent News & Media, including Sunday World Managing Director Gerry Lennon, Sunday World Editor Colm MacGinty and Ed McCann, Group Managing Editor at INM.
Mr Magee wrote for the Sunday World for 43 years and his work appeared in every edition of the paper during that time.
Others present today were Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin alongside RTE’s Des Cahill and Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh.
Father D'Arcy commenced the mass by saying Jimmy had a fond place in so many people’s hearts and closest of all to him were his family, especially his 11 grandchildren who he adored and who in turn adored him.
He said he had a hard couple of years in recent times, particularly after losing his son Paul eight years ago. He found it hard to imagine how a son could die before his father.
But mourners were told that Jimmy has now been reunited with his late son and his beloved wife.
"Just before he died, he wondered when Marie was going to come and visit him," said Father D'Arcy.
"Now he has gone to visit her."
The congregation was told that the same readings that were used at his son’s funeral were used today, so they were particularly poignant.
"This is the day I dreaded. We had a pact that when I died, I told him all the good stories that he was to say about me," added Father D'Arcy.
"Everyone wanted to hear what Jimmy had to say at the end of a funeral. They would say 'God has an easy job now as Jimmy has already judged them'.
"This is the first time he has let me down."
Mourners were also told how much he enjoyed his work and that he never missed a deadline in over 40 years.