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A musical send-off at funeral of country star Gene Stuart

By Joanne Fleming

Published 15/02/2016

Plunkett McGartland, John Morrison, Pat Casey, John O’Neill and Radio host Hugo Duncan play at the graveside of Gene Stuart yesterday
Plunkett McGartland, John Morrison, Pat Casey, John O’Neill and Radio host Hugo Duncan play at the graveside of Gene Stuart yesterday
Mourners outside the church as Gene Stuart is laid to rest in Aughnagar
Country star Philomena Begley pays her respects, and Mr Stuart in his later years
Mr Stuart in his later years

Country music legend Gene Stuart was laid to rest yesterday with a graveside musical oration.

Showband star Tony Allen and country star Philomena Begley were among the mourners paying tribute at St Patrick's Church, Aughnagar.

Philomena's tribute at gene Stewart at his funeral today!

Posted by Carol Quinn on Sunday, 14 February 2016

Radio host Hugo Duncan and musicians Plunkett McGartland, John Morrison, Pat Casey and John O'Neill were also in attendance as a send-off with fiddles and guitars marked the passing of an Irish musical icon.

Mr Stuart, who was 72, died on Thursday after a long illness.

The Tyrone man, a former photographer with the Dungannon Observer, was well-known across Ireland, having sung with leading showband The Mighty Avons, which he joined in 1969, as well as The Homesteaders.

Mr Stuart, who had originally planned to join the priesthood, owned a record shop in Dungannon.

Having released 20 albums, one recorded in Nashville, many singles including an Irish top 10 hit, and four videos, he still enjoyed the spotlight right up to when he first became ill. Aside from his musical fame, Mr Stuart was also an active member of Killeeshil parish.

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