Irish comedian and actor Frank Kelly (Father Jack) passed away on Sunday aged 77. His funeral was held in Dublin on Wednesday and was attended by Irish President Michael D Higgins.
He was buried today and hundreds attended his funeral and paid their respect for the laughter he brought to their lives.
Comic legend Frank Kelly starred in the hit TV series Father Ted and played the part of Father Jack, a drunken catholic priest exiled to Craggy Island. Although he played the part of a naughty priest, he was in fact a religious man who attended church.
Father Jack ( Frank Kelly) spent most of his working time sitting in a dirty old chair sleeping and dreaming. His genius was revealed through the following simple words that he would utter whenever he gained consciousness or could smell a drink: Feck, Arse, Girls, Drink and Knickers. He would be remembered for being a comic genius alongside Father Ted Crilly, played by Dermot Morgan (1952-1998).
The Scotsman reports:
Hundreds of mourners, including stars of the stage and screen, said farewell to the veteran performer at a moving, sometimes funny, service in Dublin.
Irish President Michael D Higgins, Father Ted co-creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews as well as Ardal O’Hanlon, who played the hapless Fr Dougal in the TV series, were among mourners.
In an emotional tribute, the actor’s son Emmet joked: “When he gets to heaven, when they chose to let Father Jack through the duty free at pearly gates, they’ll have no choice – It will be the first time anyone ever told St Peter to “feck off”.”
Having spent 60 years in theatre and on television, Kelly, who died on Sunday aged 77, is most widely remembered for his parody of the drunken priest.
Despite his role in lampooning the Catholic Church, chief celebrant Father Bill Fortune said the late actor was in fact a devoted church-goer with a deep faith.
Paraphrasing Napoleon, the parish priest said his friend had “2 o’clock in the morning courage”, not a hot-headed but a cool courage, as he battled Parkinson’s disease, cancer and a failing heart over the past decade.
After the service at the Church of the Guardian Angels, Mr Matthews described Kelly as a legend, saying: “He was naturally very funny, he was great…he was a legendary figure in Irish comedy.”
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