THE FUNERAL of veteran Irish actor Frank Kelly has taken place in his native Dublin today.
The Father Ted star died on Sunday at the age of 77 of a heart attack, leaving his wife Bairbre, two sons and five daughters behind.
The funeral service was attended by President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, along with well-known Irish faces including Father Ted writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews.
Also in attendance were Ardal O’Hanlon, who played Father Dougal in the popular sitcom, and the late Father Ted actor Dermot Morgan’s sons Rob and Don.
Kelly’s death came 18 years to the day after Morgan’s, who died on February 28, 1998 also of a heart attack.
Paying tribute to Kelly, chief celebrant Fr Bill Fortune said he brought “real joy, humour and laughter to literally millions of people”, The Irish Independent reports.
Kelly starred as the much-loved character Father Jack in Father Ted from 1995 to 1998.
Over a career spanning six decades, he became one of Ireland’s best-known television stars, as well as regularly appearing on stage and film.
Between 1997 and 1999 he appeared as Maurice Nolan in Irish soap Glenroe and joined the cast of Emmerdale in 2010 for a year, playing Dermot Macey.
Most recently, he played a judge in 2014’s Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie.
He was mourned at a funeral service in the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock, Co. Dublin and was cremated privately afterwards.
Along with his wife Bairbre, Kelly’s children Aideen, Fíona, Jayne, Ruth, Emmet, Stephen and Rachel led mourners at this morning’s funeral service.
He is also survived by his 17 grandchildren.