'force of nature' | 

Deirdre Purcell’s husband tells funeral mass ‘without her we are cast adrift and bereft’

Former colleagues and friends from the world of media, literature and theatre were also in attendance

Pictured are family and friends as the coffin of Deirdre Purcell arrives at Our Lady of Victories Church, Ballymun Road, this morning for her funeral. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie© RollingNews.ie

The remains of Deirdre Purcell are carried in to Our Lady of Victories Church in Ballymun by her family. Photo by Steve Humphreys 16th Feb ruary 2023.

Deirdre purcell

Kirsty Blake KnoxIndependent.ie

Novelist Deirdre Purcell was remembered as 'vibrant, sharp minded, caring companion' and a 'force of nature' at her funeral in Dublin today.

Chief mourners were her husband Kevin Healy, sons Adrian and Simon, brother Declan, step-children Justin, Zoe, daughter-in-law Catherine, her grandchildren.

Former colleagues and friends from the world of media, literature and theatre were also in attendance.

Anne Doyle, Terry Prone, Olivia O'Leary, broadcaster Joe Duffy, Mike Murphy, Pat Kenny, former newsreader Eileen Dunne, David Davin-Power, theatre director Patrick Mason, theatre producer John McColgan, and Marian Finucane's widower John Clarke were among those who gathered to pay their respects at Our Lady of Victories Church, in Ballymun.

Purcell's husband Kevin described her as the glue that held their family together.

"Without her we are cast adrift and we are bereft," he said.

He told those in attendance that the unopened Valentine's Day card he wrote for her contained the words "life is such an adventure with you by my side".

Her son Adrian spoke of the shock of his mother's sudden death and remembered her as "generous, loyal, creative, fun and compassionate".

"She was always on your side. Endlessly loyal, endlessly supportive," he said.

He spoke of the various 'friendship tribes' she had and how much they meant to her.

Deirdre purcell

Fr John McNamara who acted as celebrant told mourners Purcell remained loyal to RTÉ all her life and tuned into Dancing with the Stars, Fair City, the Nine O'Clock News and Smother the Sunday before her death.

Fr McNamara said her "life was full and she lived it to the last".

Joe Duffy spoke and described her as "elegant, generous and full of warmth".

"My admiration for her is unbounded. She was a gem."

Purcell, one of Ireland’s most acclaimed novelists and broadcasters, died suddenly at the age of 77 on Monday.

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