Last night, a special episode of The Late Late Show was aired to mark the passing of veteran broadcaster and former host Gay Byrne, and what unfolded was a public wake with more laughter, stories, emotion and gravitas than could have been planned. 

Pulling in everyone from President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and Vincent Browne, to former guests, RTÉ journalists past and present and even a phonecall from Bono all the way from New Zealand, the nation watched as Gay's career, which spanned six decades, was celebrated. 

There was Pat Kenny's story of trying to kidnap Gay, Mike Murphy's laughs, Tommy Tiernan's perfect summation of Ireland as a tribe that loves to come together and the necessary sing-song at the end. The archival footage spanned what seemed like the high and low points of modern Irish history, and reminded viewers of how instrumental the broadcaster was in moving the country forward. 

For many, it felt like a typical Irish wake, with all the jibes, stories, teasing and fond memories that come when you lose someone who gave so much. 

Here are the best tweets from the show:

Who we are


A typical Irish wake

Modern history

What day is it?

Gowan Nell

Cornered by MDH

Giant sausage

Backwards, forwards

Are you even Irish?

That voice over


Hup Tommy

End of an era

The Parting Glass