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The Liberties Mourn the Death of Legend Brendan Grace

The Liberties Mourn the Death of Legend Brendan Grace

There were sad scenes mixed with pride this week as comedian Brendan Grace (68) was laid to rest after losing his battle with lung cancer. Thousands of people attended the July 15th funeral in St. Nicholas of Myra church, and also lined the streets as the funeral passed by Brendan’s childhood home in Echlin St, and passed Guinness’s Brewery, an area where Brenda spent many of his formative years.

Born in Echlin Street in 1951, Brendan grew up in a working class family, where his father Seamus worked as a barman and as an ambulance driver. Like many of his contemporaries, Brendan left school at the age of 13 and began to work as a messenger boy to help his family make ends meet.

At the age of 18 formed a band called the Gingermen that played in the local showband scene, despite the band being mainly folk based. His introduction to comedy came almost by accident. One evening, when the Gingermen were to play a gig, two of the members of the band didn’t show up. To entertain the crowd Brendan began to make humorous observations about Dublin, and immediately won the crowd over. This was to begin his comedy career and he would go on to sell out theatres, entertaining crowds with his wit, and many of the comedy characters her created including the much famed “Bottler”. He had many famous fans also, including Frank Sinatra.

Brenda also had an acting career, starring in the 1995 film Moondance, and perhaps most famously as the notorious Fr. Fintan Stack in Father Ted. In 2013, he reprised his character Bottler for an eponymous film, about the early years of Bottler and his friends.

Brendan spent his time between his home in Florida and his pub in county Clare called The Brendan Grace Bar.

Sadly Grace was diagnosed with pneumonia in  June of this year as a complication of lung cancer, and died on the 11th July. He is survived by his wife Eileen, and children; Melanie, Brendan, Amanda and Bradley..

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