‘Bren­dan never for­got Dunlavin’

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By MYLES BUCHANAN

BREN­DAN Grace’s close links to Dunlavin were re­mem­bered this week af­ter the pop­u­lar co­me­dian and en­ter­tainer was laid to rest on Mon­day.

Bren­dan was a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to Dunlavin in his youth, as his father was born and reared in the vil­lage. The vis­its con­tin­ued into adult­hood, even af­ter he had achieved star­dom.

His first-cousin, Peter Grace, re­calls Bren­dan as a born en­ter­tainer.

‘Even as a young fel­low he would come down and en­ter­tain us all. Even as young as seven he was al­ready a born en­ter­tainer. He’d get up, stand by the dresser in our home, sing a few songs and en­ter­tain us all. He was al­ways very funny, even as a young­ster. He will be sadly missed.’

THOU­SANDS of peo­ple lined the streets of the Lib­er­ties ahead of the fu­neral of co­me­dian Bren­dan Grace on Mon­day.

Dur­ing the fu­neral pro­ces­sion, the Grace fam­ily held hands as they fol­lowed the co­me­dian’s cof­fin through the streets in mov­ing scenes.

Among those in at­ten­dance at the fu­neral was Peter Grace of Dunlavin, a first-cousin of the late en­ter­tainer. Bren­dan’s father, Sea­mus, was born and reared in the west Wick­low vil­lage be­fore mov­ing to Dublin as a young man, where he ended up set­tling down.

Peter re­calls Bren­dan as a ‘born-en­ter­tainer’ who was able to de­light au­di­ences even as a very young child.

‘He never for­got Dunlavin,’ said Peter.

‘He talked a lot about the place when he was be­ing in­ter­viewed on ra­dio. Even as a young fel­low he would come down and en­ter­tain us all. Even as young as seven he was al­ready a born en­ter­tainer. He’d get up, stand by the dresser in our home, sing a few songs and en­ter­tain us all. He was al­ways very funny, even as a young­ster. He was just like his father Sea­mus. He was a real char­ac­ter as well. It was in Bren­dan’s blood and he was al­ways funny. He was born that way. He was funny from day one, pretty much from the first time I knew him as a baby.’

At the fu­neral pro­ces­sion Bren­dan re­ceived a guard of hon­our as a piper played and a flo­ral trib­ute to one of Grace’s most fa­mous char­ac­ters, school­boy Bot­tler. The ser­vice was more a cel­e­bra­tion of his achieve­ments. Some of his show­biz pals came to pay their re­spects, such as Bren­dan O’Car­roll, Daniel O’Don­nell, Dickie Rock and Twink.

‘It was more of a cel­e­bra­tion of his life, which is what Bren­dan would have wanted,’ said Peter. ‘He didn’t want any­one mourn­ing him. Lots of his celebrity friends were present af­ter­wards in the Red Cow. There was a bit of a singsong. Bren­dan al­ways felt that you mourn a young per­sons life af­ter their pass­ing, but you cel­e­brate the life of some­one older.’

Peter last saw Bren­dan last Tues­day af­ter visit­ing Gal­way Clinic where Bren­dan was be­ing cared for.

‘Me and two of my sis­ters went down to see him in hos­pi­tal on Tues­day, so we got a big shock when we were told he had passed away on Thurs­day,’ added Peter. ‘He was chat­ting away to us about Dunlavin. He was talk­ing about how he used to get the bus down from Dublin and it would drop him off at Toss Dowl­ing’s pub­lic house at An­nalecky, and my father would drive down and pick him up. He’d stay for a few days and then get the bus back to Dublin. I’m talk­ing about 50 or so years ago. He’d get the bus down with his par­ents. He was talk­ing away to us about Dunlavin on Tues­day. We didn’t bring it up. We had no idea it would be the last time we would see him. Any­time he was at home he would pop out to visit us or he would drop in if he was pass­ing. He will be sadly missed.’

HE WAS CHAT­TING AWAY TO US ABOUT DUNLAVIN ON TUES­DAY... WE HAD NO IDEA IT WOULD BE THE LAST TIME WE’D SEE HIM

The late Bren­dan Grace.

The late Bren­dan Grace.

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