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Fair City’s Mick Nolan pays tribute to ‘extraordinary’ wife Carol Anne Lowe at funeral

Carol Anne sadly passed away last Thursday after a long illness.

Fair City star Mick Nolan carrying a photo of his wife Carol Anne Lowe at her funeral this afternoon. Photo: Ernie Leslie

Fair City actor Joe Hanley at the funeral of Carol Anne Lowe. Photo: Ernie Leslie

Funeral of Carol Anne Lowe. Photo: Ernie Leslie

Funeral of Carol Anne Lowe at Mount Jerome Cemetery and Crematorium. Photo: Ernie Leslie

Eugene Masterson and Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Fair City actor Mick Nolan lovingly clutched a large picture of his stunning wife and former soap colleague Carol Anne Lowe at her funeral service this afternoon.

Mick, who plays garage mechanic Ray O’Connell in the RTE series, was comforted by family, friends and colleagues at the Victorian Chapel at Mount Jerome cemetery and crematorium in Dublin.

He tearfully spoke about his “beautiful” wife, telling his fellow mourners that “Carol Anne had a magnetism that if you met her once, you never forgot her”.

Fair City actor Joe Hanley at the funeral of Carol Anne Lowe. Photo: Ernie Leslie

Mick and Carol Anne met while working on Fair City, when she played Brazilian housekeeper Francesca da Silva. She starred in the soap in the mid-2000s for about three years.

Ray and Francesca fell in love in Carrigstown, but romance also blossomed in real life with the couple falling in love and marrying.

Carol Anne sadly passed away last Thursday after a long illness. The celebrated opera singer is predeceased by her parents Harry and Anne Lowe and her sister Barbara.

Several cast members attended today’s funeral service, including Joe Hanley (Hughie Phelan), Bryan Murray (Bob Charles), and Una Crawford O’Brien (Renee Phelan), with Carol Anne’s remains removed in a wicker coffin. Many others watched the service via the live streamed link, as they were busy filming scenes at the studios in Donnybrook.

Funeral of Carol Anne Lowe. Photo: Ernie Leslie

A large colourful portrait of Carol Anne was positioned in the aisle of the crematorium, which Mick later carefully and lovingly carried out under his arm after the service.

Meanwhile, clips from her time on Fair City and operatic performances were played on a TV above her coffin, and personal photos from her life were also shown throughout the service.

Carol Anne’s brother David and sister Jeanette both spoke fondly of the Dubliner’s musical gifts, adding that it was “very obvious she had something special” from a young age.

Jeanette held back tears as she paid tribute to her “incredibly kind” younger sister as she told of how she was sure Carol Anne would look over her like their late sister Barbara.

“When she was dying, I saw another side to her. I saw a braveness. I saw somebody who never said, ‘Why me?’” she said.

Funeral of Carol Anne Lowe at Mount Jerome Cemetery and Crematorium. Photo: Ernie Leslie

“In her last few weeks, she never said ‘This shouldn’t be happening to me.’ She just said ‘I’m so grateful that I managed to get married to Mick. I’m so grateful that I got another year, that I got to Seville, that I went to Italy, and I’m so grateful that I’m going to see another Christmas.’ And she did.

“She was a very spiritual person also. She constantly believed Barbara got her car park spaces in awkward situations, so I don’t know what Carol Anne will manifest herself as in the future in our lives, but she will be there.

“I think anyone in this room who has ever encountered her will never forget her and she will be in your heart.

“I’m incredibly grateful that I got to have this talented, beautiful, and incredibly kind person as my little sister”.

The family asked for flowers from relatives only and mourners were asked to donate to Our Lady's Hospice and Care services, Harold's Cross.

There were also several online tributes honouring the actress.

"Deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Carol Anne's passing. Have known Carol Anne since we were both pupils of Ronnie Dunne back in the 80s,” said one friend.

"She was a genuinely lovely person both inside and out. My sincere condolences to her husband Mick and her brothers and sister, and her many friends. RIP."

Another said: "RIP Carol Anne. A beautiful life cut tragically short. Gone way to soon." (sic)

One Opera Ireland pal said: "To Mick and all the family, deepest sympathies on the death of Carol Anne. She was such a lovely person and singer.”


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