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legendary Hundreds turn out to pay tribute to veteran former Sunday World columnist Paddy Murray

Mr Murray coffin's was carried the end of the service to thunderous applause as a beautiful traditional music arrangement - 'Iserclean' (by Bill Whelan, Liam O'Flynn, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny) - rang through the air

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 Paddy Murray's remains arrive for the funeral mass.   Picture: Gerry Mooney

Paddy Murray's remains arrive for the funeral mass. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Paddy Murray's remains arrive for the funeral mass. Picture: Gerry Mooney

LEGENDARY journalist Paddy Murray had the last word on his funeral service in Dublin today as in his final instructions to his brother Diarmuid he warned him to keep it short and sweet.

But more than 500 people still crowded into the Church of St Paul of the Cross in Mount Argus to pay tribute to the much-loved writer.

His wife Connie and daughter Charlotte were chief mourners at the touching ceremony, which was littered with remarkable music and readings of Paddy's choosing.

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Paddy Murray's remains at the altar during the funeral mass.   Picture: Gerry Mooney

Paddy Murray's remains at the altar during the funeral mass. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Paddy Murray's remains at the altar during the funeral mass. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Fr Eugene McCarthy was the chief celebrant and was assisted in officiating by Fr Tom Whelan and Fr Paul Francis.

Sadly, Paddy's brother, Bishop Donal Murray, could not attend, but several other members of his family were present, including brothers Diarmuid and John, and sister Una.

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Friends and former colleagues, including Sunday World columnist Roy Curtis (wearing flat cap) and editor Brian Farrell (centre), pictured at the funeral of Paddy Murray.   Picture: Gerry Mooney

Friends and former colleagues, including Sunday World columnist Roy Curtis (wearing flat cap) and editor Brian Farrell (centre), pictured at the funeral of Paddy Murray. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Friends and former colleagues, including Sunday World columnist Roy Curtis (wearing flat cap) and editor Brian Farrell (centre), pictured at the funeral of Paddy Murray. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Paddy died on Thursday at the age of 68 after a long and brave battle against a rare form of cancer.

Fr McCarthy recalled a humorous story of when Paddy was a young boy in Willow Park primary school.

"When he was six years of age Fr Stanley was President of the school," he recalled. "Fr Stanley asked Paddy one day 'what do you want to do when you grow up?' Paddy looked up and said 'The Pope'. Then he thought about it and said 'Well, I will become a Bishop first'.

"As he later said himself, he didn't become the Bishop, his older brother did."

Fr McCarthy remarked that Paddy's mother had a huge influence on him and when he was at a loose end in London many years ago she suggested he do a course in journalism.

He also recalled how Paddy met his wife Connie in The Star newspaper and they were together for over 30 years.

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"The blessing of their marriage was Charlotte," he noted.

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Paddy Murray's remains are taken from the church following the funeral mass.   Picture: Gerry Mooney

Paddy Murray's remains are taken from the church following the funeral mass. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Paddy Murray's remains are taken from the church following the funeral mass. Picture: Gerry Mooney

"There is a dispute as to where the name Charlotte came from," said Fr McCarthy. "Paddy would say it's because of St Charles of Mount Argus, whose remains are here in the church.

"Connie would say there was a song called 'Charlotte Sometimes' by The Cure and Paddy being an expert in all things musical may have been influenced by that. The jury is still out on that one."

Fr McCarthy also referenced Paddy's long and distinguished career in journalism.

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Miriam O'Callaghan and Bairbre Power pictured at Paddy Murray's funeral.   Picture: Gerry Mooney

Miriam O'Callaghan and Bairbre Power pictured at Paddy Murray's funeral. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Miriam O'Callaghan and Bairbre Power pictured at Paddy Murray's funeral. Picture: Gerry Mooney

"I think he worked in most of the papers we would know - the Independent, the Herald, Sunday Independent, The Star, the Sunday World and indeed more recently the Irish Times," he pointed out.

"He was also Editor of the Sunday Tribune from 2003-2006".

Fr McCarthy also remembered how he came to know Paddy when he was President of Terenure Sports Club (CYM).

"Over 30 years ago Paddy was diagnosed with a rare lymphoma cancer," he said

"He told me that a bone marrow transplant gave him a great extension in life.

"He was also very clear that what helped him get over prognosis after prognosis was his own positivity, while he made no secret his faith carried him through many a difficult and bad period."

His brother Diarmuid also gave an insight into Paddy's colourful life.

"When Paddy was in Willow Park Fr Stanley said 'Paddy faces the ups and downs of life with incredible calm.' I think that sums up his incredible outlook on life, never more so than in the last few years," he observed.

He added: "His great saying was 'I won't be seeing Christmas - but I did'. He had a positive attitude."

At the end of the service Paddy's coffin was carried shoulder high to thunderous applause as a beautiful traditional music arrangement- 'Iserclean' (by Bill Whelan, Liam O'Flynn, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny) - rang through the air.

A large number of media colleagues and friends and acquaintances gathered outside afterwards

Sunday World staff were represented by Editor Brian Farrell, Assistant Editor Robbie Farrell, Sports Assistant Editor Eoin O'Neill, Roy Curtis and Magazine Editor Caoimhe Young, while former employees who also attended included Colm MacGinty, Michael Brophy, John Donlon, JP Thomson and Amanda Brunker.

A large Irish Daily Star contingent was led by Editor Neil Leslie, columnist Terry McGeehan, sports reporters Paul Lennon and Derek Foley, as well as former employees Tom Ryan, Dave O'Connell (now Editor Connacht Tribune), Senan Maloney (now with the Irish Independent), Moira Hannon, FAI Communications Director Cathal Dervan and Eoin Brannigan (now Belfast Telegraph).

Broadcasters included RTÉ figures Miriam O'Callaghan, Olivia Doyle and Julian Vignoles, Newstalk's Matt Cooper as well as Riverdance founders John McColgan and Moya Doherty.

Sunday Independent stalwarts Liam Collins and Willie Dillon were also present, as were former Independent Managing Editor Michael Deniffe, while other Indo staff included Eavan Murray, Katherine Donnelly and Bairbre Power.

Daily Mirror figures included John Kierans and Michael McNiffe.

Also there were the Daily Mail's Philip Nolan and journalists Lise Hand, Fiona Looney, Jim Gallagher, PR executive Dave Curtin.

Many others attended the funeral home the night before and others contacted Connie and the family.

May Paddy Rest In Peace. Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam dilis.

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