Hundreds of fans from around Ireland have lined the streets of The Liberties in Dublin for the funeral of entertainer Brendan Grace, who died on Thursday aged 68 following a short illness.

They cheered and applauded as the coffin was carried into the Church of St Nicholas of Myra in Francis Street.

Figures from the world of music and entertainment also attended, with musical tributes from Red Hurley and Paddy Cole.

The coffin was welcomed into the church to the bars of the Dublin Saunter sung by the Forget Me Not Choir.

The service began with his grandchildren bringing up items to the altar that symbolised his life, including a microphone, a book of his jokes and a guitar.

Chief celebrant Fr Brian Darcy said given the numbers inside the church and lined up outside Brendan would be asking: "What's the cover charge."

He said people laughed and cried at a Brendan Grace show and he said mourners would do the same today.

Born in Dublin, Brendan Grace began his career in entertainment as a singer, but later turned to comedy, becoming well-known for characters such as Bottler and the Father of the Bride.

He was also an actor acclaimed for roles, including Fr Fintan Stack in Father Ted.

Local businesses also paid tribute with murals and signs honouring the entertainer.

President Higgins and the Taoiseach were represented at the service by their aides de camp.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and a number of other political figures were also in attendance.


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Fr Darcy told mourners that the veteran entertainer's memory would forever live on.

"As long as a person's memory lives and as long as we live, Brendan Grace will never die because all of us have enthusiastic, brilliant and long-lasting, life-lasting, and life-changing memories of the wonderful man that he was - the humanity of the man, the generosity of the man, the goodness of the man," Fr Darcy said.

He said his legacy to the world would be one of goodness, laughter and generosity.

"All of his vocation in life was quite simply, nothing more, nothing less than to lift the gloom of the nation and to lift the gloom of the people who came to see him," he added.

He is survived by his wife Eileen, children and grandchildren.