Tallaght Uillean piper ‘honoured’ to perform at Gay Byrne's burial

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A CHAMPION uilleann piper from Tallaght performed at the burial of broadcasting legend Gay Byrne on Friday, with the former Late Late Show host’s family having asked him to play as the funeral cortege arrived at St Fintan’s Cemetery in Sutton, and at the graveside.

Eamonn Walsh (65), from St Maelruan’s Park, who has previously performed on the Late Late Show multiple times – including during Gay Byrne’s tenure as host – said he was honoured to be asked to play at the burial.

Eamonn Walsh Gay Byrne 1 compressor

Piper Eamonn Walsh playing at Gay Byrne’s funeral at St Fintan’s Cemetary

Mr Walsh told The Echo: “It was a huge honour. I grew up listening to Gay Byrne on the radio and watching the Late Late Show on a black and white TV.

“We’ll never see the likes of him again. He was an icon; he was a part of Irish life.”

The skilled uillean piper played a number of pieces during the burial, including ‘The Parting Glass’ while he was standing at the cemetery gates, ‘You Raise Me Up’ as the funeral cortege arrived, and he played ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ at the graveside, after Mr Byrne’s coffin had been lowered.

Gay Byrne passed away on November 4 aged 85, after a long illness, and his funeral was held at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in the city centre last Friday, followed by a private burial at St Fintan’s Cemetery.

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