Youse are all lookin' at me! Showbiz museum to open a special Bottler exhibition in honour of Brendan Grace
"The museum is so cute, it's just gorgeous."
IRELAND'S King of Comedy Brendan Grace is to be honoured with a special museum exhibition dedicated to his remarkable career in the world of entertainment.
The Irish showbiz icon's memorabilia is to be put on display for fans at the Newbridge Silverware Museum in Co. Kildare with the co-operation and blessing of his family.
"It will be beautiful," Brendan's wife, Eileen, tells the Sunday World. "I'm going to give them all his memorabilia that includes Bottler and all that kind of stuff. It will be his life story on display for all to see and it's going to be a lovely tribute to him.
"Brendan was at a couple of different openings for them at Newbridge Silverware, so he had that connection. The museum is so cute, it's just gorgeous."
Legendary comic Grace died on July 11, 2019, after a short battle with cancer.
The Doyle family who run Newbridge Silverware approached his wife Eileen with the idea of featuring the much-loved comic in their popular museum.
"I thought it was a lovely idea," Eileen says. "I went to see Pauline Doyle, who is the curator and one of the family members of Newbridge Silverware, along with her brother, William.
"The original plan was that it would be opened for Brendan's birthday on April 1 of last year. Then the lockdown happened in March and funnily enough the day I was driving into Newbridge to meet Pauline the news came on the car radio about the schools being closed down the following day.
"We said then that we'd better hold back the opening to June, thinking it would be OK by then. But little did any of us know how long the coronavirus was going to be with us.
"We had hoped we could open it last month on his 70th birthday, but with the restrictions in place that wasn't possible. But the country is starting to open up and Brendan will be 70 all year, so as soon as we're allowed we'll be launching the exhibition."
Eileen revealed that last summer she carried out some renovations at their family home at Ballina, Co. Tipperary, and she's now in the process of mounting a private collection dedicated to her husband's memory.
"I'm going through all the old pictures with a view to putting galleries on different walls, and it's been triggering so many memories for me of things that I'd forgotten," she says.
"There's a beautiful bar area downstairs where I'm going to put up all his memorabilia and all his awards. I'm hoping at some stage to then have some kind of a party in Brendan's honour here at the house."
Nearly two years on from his passing, Eileen says she still hasn't come to terms with her loss.
"We are in our second year now and I feel every bit of it," she tells me. "It [the grief] hasn't changed a bit. And with Covid it's like the world has just stopped still, not just for me but for everyone. I haven't actually been out in the world in my grief.
"As a family we are all supporting each other. We have a family WhatsApp group, we do FaceTime and we're keeping very much together. When one of us is having a bad day the SOS goes out and we all rally around each other to help whoever it is that's having the bad day."
However, on April 1 last - the day that Brendan would have turned 70 - Eileen said they had an upbeat celebration in his honour with "lots of music, fun and laughter."
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