'He was a hero to many many people' - Nina Carberry and Joseph O'Brien among mourners at removal of jockey JT McNamara
Trainer Joseph O'Brien and champion jockey Nina Carberry were amongst those who attended the removal of JT McNamara amid much grief.
Mourners last night filled the small church in Manister, co Limerick - surrounded by fields owned by Quatar racing.
The removal was delayed because of such a large number of mourners from the horsing community who came to express sympathy with the renowned jockey's wife Caroline and their young children Dylan, Olivia and Harry.
Amongst them were several who had travelled from the Galway Races, with others travelling over from England.
JT (41) was left paralysed following a fall at Cheltenham three years ago and had suffered ill health since, with frequent admissions to hospital.
President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be represented by their ADCs at the funeral today, while the Taoiseach personally rang JT's wife, Caroline to express his sympathies.
JP McManus and AP McCoy attended the house earlier.
Celebrant Canon Gary Bluett described JT as a man who had been a beacon of his sport and said racing had been the passion of his life.
"He was a hero to many many people," he said.
"JT was a strong character and outspoken," he added, revealing that he had suffered much since the accident, spending much time in hospital.
"But he didn't give up," he said.