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'Hit hard' Claire Byrne opens up about the 'shock' she felt after the death of her father

Her 86-year-old beloved dad, Tom, died six months ago after a prolonged period of illness

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Broadcaster Claire Byrne

Broadcaster Claire Byrne

Broadcaster Claire Byrne

Claire Byrne has opened up about the 'shock' she felt following death of her father.

Her 86-year-old beloved dad, Tom, died six months ago after a prolonged period of illness.

“We got such a shock and it seemed to happen quite quickly in the end,” she told the Irish Independent.

The RTE presenter said that her father was a vibrant and strong character, which was the reason that his loss was felt even more as they thought that there would be a lot more time to say goodbye.

“We knew he wasn’t going to live forever, but he was just so vibrant and full of life,” she continued.

“He was physically strong even towards the end of his life as well. That played into the notion that he would be around forever”

“All of those things create this false sense of security that you are never going to have to say goodbye. But ultimately the day came when we did have to say goodbye and it hit hard.”

Claire shared that the death brought her family together as they spent his final days with him at the family home in Co Laois.

“The loveliest part of that week leading to my father’s death was being able to say goodbye. We all have busy lives in our family, but we got an opportunity to come back home together. It was just the six of us and my Mam and we were with my Dad, along with all the professional help that we had.”

“We all got to spend some really precious time with him. I think back on it all the time and I am so thankful for it.”

Earlier this year, she said: "It just hit me like a train, in a way there is no logic to that feeling. My father was 86, he had been unwell for a long period of time and yet we were all devastated that he was gone.”

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“Now that he’s gone it feels like you’ve lost a hero and a champion, someone who thought that whatever you did was right and you always got the phone call on your birthday. This summer that didn’t happen,” she told RTE Lifestyle.

Opening up about reading her father’s eulogy at his funeral she said she was terrified.

"I had help writing it as we all wanted to put our little bit in. And I looked up advice online that said you should utterly familiarise yourself with the text. But the most striking thing was standing up in this huge church in Mountrath with hardly anybody there."

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