Belfast Telegraph

Broadcaster Larry Gogan remembered as ‘extraordinary man who was very ordinary’

Mourners have attended a funeral mass for the 85-year-old in Dublin.

Larry Gogan has been remembered at his funeral mass in Dublin (Damien Eagers/PA)
Larry Gogan has been remembered at his funeral mass in Dublin (Damien Eagers/PA)

By Aine McMahon PA

RTE broadcaster Larry Gogan has been remembered as an extraordinary man who was very ordinary at his funeral mass.

Mr Gogan, who was known as the man with the golden voice and had worked at RTE for more than 50 years, died in Dublin on Tuesday aged 85.

The funeral service in the city heard he has now been reunited with his childhood sweetheart and wife Florrie, who died in 2002.

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Mr Gogan had been in broadcasting for almost 60 years (RTE/PA)

A copy of the Star Newspaper, a packet of wine gums, photographs of his wife and grandchildren and his well-worn set of headphones were among the items brought to the altar.

In his homily, Fr Brian D’Arcy said: “How would you sum up Larry? You can’t. But the best I can do is this. Larry was always an extraordinary man who was very ordinary.

“His gift was the extraordinary things he could do. For he himself remained rooted in the ground.

“He was very honest, obliging, happy and easy to work with.”

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The coffin of Larry Grogan arrives at the Church of St Pius X, Templeogue in Dublin (Damien Eagers/PA)

Mr Gogan had been in broadcasting for almost six decades and was best known for his Just A Minute quiz and his radio show The Golden Hour.

Fr D’Arcy added: “He loved fun. He was adored by everyone. We all knew that he was without doubt the greatest disc jockey we were ever likely to hear or see. He was a hero to everybody. He helped us all on our way.

“He was so sure of his own greatness, of his own ability that nobody was a threat to Larry, and nobody ever was. And Larry knew that too. Which is why he could help anybody. Because he knew that by helping others, he was sharing the gift that God had given him. And that’s why he did it.”

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Mr Gogan’s daughters Sinead, left, Orlaith, centre, and Grainne outside the church (Damien Eagers/PA)

He said Irish bands and musicians owe a great deal to Mr Gogan for giving them their first play on the radio.

Fr D’Arcy added: “The last thing I’ll say is this. There’s only one person in the world that can think of that I never heard anyone say a bad word about. Never in my life did anyone ever say a bad word about Larry Gogan to me, and that is over a period of well over 50 years. I think that’s a great legacy of Larry Gogan.”

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were represented by their aide-de-camps.

RTE director General Dee Forbes, RTE colleagues and friends from the music industry, including U2’s Larry Mullen, also attended.

The members of U2 left a floral wreath with a message that read: “There is no end to grief, that is how we know there is no end to love.”

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U2 drummer Larry Mullen was among the mourners (Damien Eagers/PA)

Mr Gogan was the third high-profile RTE broadcaster to pass away recently, following the death of Gay Byrne in November and Marian Finucane last week.

The Late Late Show will pay tribute to Mr Gogan in a special programme on Friday night.

Radio stations across the country honoured him by playing Friends In Time by Irish band the Golden Horde just after midday, when his funeral mass took place.

Mr Gogan featured in the original music video for the song.

In a joint statement, the radio stations said Friends In Time was “poignantly chosen as a nod to two of Larry’s well-known music passions – championing Irish music and his infamous music show feature”.

They added: “This bittersweet nostalgic track, in which Larry himself also featured in the original video, would not have been out of place on the playlist for Larry’s famous Golden Hour.”

They also said Mr Gogan was “the epitome of music radio in Ireland and paved the way for so many others”.

PA

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