A SHOWBAND manager, a recording artist, an author and journalist, and most especially a family man were all recalled as Kevin Farrell was laid to rest in his native Edenderry last Wednesday afternoon.
The well known journalist died last Monday after a long battle with cancer. Poignantly, his passing coincided with the last edition of the Offaly Express, a paper he was instrumental in establishing.
Thousands thronged St Mary’s Church in Edenderry at noon on Wednesday to pay respects to a multi-faceted man. In his homily, chief celebrant Fr PJ McEvoy, PP Edenderry noted Kevin’s devotion to family and community.
“He was very involved with works of charity, but there were many private acts of charity which he never spoke of,” Fr McEvoy said.
“Kevin gave of his time and talent freely and put food on tables, paid hospital bills and gave many children the opportunity to enjoy Christmas.
“For the first Lourdes pilgrimage from this town, Kevin organised a concert to help send people on the trip. It was intended as a once off but, 40 years later, the fundraising is still going on. Last year’s CD raised thousands for the Lourdes fund.”
Fr McEvoy also highlighted Kevin Farrell’s pride in coming from a town of such talented musicians. “Kevin wished to celebrate the entertainers of his native town which led to the creation of the Edenderry entertainers. Two years ago he unveiled a monument to deceased entertainers.” As the funeral cortege made its way through the cemetery a wreath was laid at this monument.
Fr McEvoy also spoke of his fortitude in the face of illness. “He bore his illness through the last few years with immense courage, hope and dignity, and his family were a tower of strength.”
Music throughout the Funeral Mass was performed by various artists close to Kevin.
Fr McEvoy noted that one of Kevin’s final wishes was to have Larry Cunningham sing ‘Lovely Leitrim’ as his funeral left the church. Mr Cunningham was too ill to attend the Mass on Wednesday, but sent a message to say he was there in spirit. A recording of ‘Lovely Leitrim’ was played as the coffin was taken from the church.
At the graveside, Elivs impersonator Greg Traynor said he had lost a dear friend. “He was a master of the word but we are left with very few words, if any, to describe the loss of Kevin Farrell.” he said.
The celebrants at the Funeral Mass were Fr PJ McEvoy PP Edenderry, Fr John Fitzpatrick, Carbuty and Fr Larry Malone, formerly Edenderry.
Kevin Farrell is survived by his wife Eileen, daughter Sinead, sons David and Kevin Jnr, and extended family.