'A man who never wasted a second of his life' - sports stars pay tribute to Ireland great Ray Treacy
Always entertaining, never dull and simply great company.
This was how former Ireland football international Ray Treacy was remembered at his funeral mass.
Thousands of mourners attended the Mass at the Church of St Laurence O'Toole, in Kimacud yesterday morning.
Inside the church, the coffin was adorned by white lillies and a photo of Mr Treacy who died at the age of 68 last Friday.
The Dubliner scored five goals in 42 appearances for his country and there was a massive turnout to say farewell to the popular player.
Ray Treacy ran a travel agency business, primarily for Irish soccer fans, prior to his retirement.
The mourners were led by Mr Treacy's family and his two sons paid a warm tribute to their dad. His son John recalled how Ray choked up at the end of all his speeches at family weddings.
SPECIAL "He was a special friend to so many and a special friend to his family, too," said John.
"Always entertaining, never dull, as a friend of mine put it the other day, he was simply great company."
He said that in a strange way, his dad's final ten days in hospital, in palliative care in the end, were at times joyful.
"We've laughed through the tears," he said.
"It was nice to have this time to tell dad how much we loved him and how much we will miss him. But to be honest, he already knew.
"As a family we were never afraid to tell him how much we loved him when he was healthy. So I think today is a time to be happy that we had all these years with him."
"We would have loved to have had more, but we were lucky to have any at all," John added.
His brother Gary said that the amount of goodwill, best wishes and stories that have been received by the family over the past few days have made them realise just how much Ray was loved and appreciated, not just by his extended family, but by his many friends, teammates, colleagues and acquaintances around the world.
"These memories will be forever treasured by the family," Gary said.
Gary thought about how his dad would want to be remembered.
"I knew instantly it was simple. A loving husband, a brilliant dad, an amazing granddad and a great friend," he said
"He was an example to everyone of how to live a life. He was honest, loyal and proud, mischievous without being offensive, loving without being smothering, and happy instead of sad. It was simple. If only we could all live like that."
"Rest easy Ray, we love you Dad," Gary said, as the church broke into applause.
Fr Tony Coote told mourners that where Ray found most contentment was with his wife Jenny and amongst the family.
"It's a nice thought to realise that in the final days, he was surrounded by his loved ones, telling stories, having the craic amid the sadness," Fr Coote said. "Banter, craic and storytelling were a key part of Ray's life."
Among those who paid their respects at the funeral mass were former Ireland managers Brian Kerr and Steve Staunton.
RTE pundits Liam Brady, John Giles and Eamon Dunphy attended the funeral mass, as did Jimmy Magee.
Among the former Ireland international players were Terry Coroy, Paddy Mulligan, John Devine, Kevin Kilbane and Don Givens.
Mr Treacy was a proficient banjo player and among the many who attended the mass were traditional musicians Eamonn Campbell from the Dubliners and Finbar Furey.
Mr Treacy is survived by his wife Jenny, and four children, Lisa, Karen, John and Gary.