Belfast Telegraph

Hundreds gather for McKenna funeral

Mourners at the funeral of Barney McKenna, the last of the original Dubliners, have heard how his memory will be treasured.

Several hundred people, including family, friends and renowned names from the world of music, gathered at St Patrick's Church, Trim, Co Meath, to pay their respects.

A lone piper led a funeral party through the town centre ahead of the Mass with McKenna's coffin draped in the green and gold harp flag of Leinster.

Among those paying their respects were his friend President Michael D Higgins, Phil Coulter, Ronnie Drew's son Phelim, Paddy Reilly and members of the Furey family. Fr Mark Mohan paid tribute to McKenna's life and the impact he had on so many people.

"The last few days with Barney's passing has changed the course of the McKenna life, it has changed also Dublin, Ireland and indeed the music world at large," he said. "Barney touched so many and left thousands with happy hearts."

Fr Mohan said the Dubliner had made an impression on everybody he met. "Your stories, your words and your memories are to be treasured," he added.

McKenna was laid to rest in at St Loman's Cemetery in Trim, the town where his family originally came from. He had been planning to return to the town last Thursday when he died at home in Howth, north Dublin.

The renowned banjo player was the last remaining member of the original line-up of The Dubliners, celebrated worldwide for their revival of Irish folk songs, their raucous sound and their hell-raising.

A memorial table was laid out during the service with McKenna's love of music and fishing remembered with a model boat, a flat cap, a photograph, and an accordion, a mandolin and a banjo.

McKenna is survived by his partner Tina, sister Maria Fuller and his brother Sean Og McKenna.

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