herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

GAA stars past and present gather to say farewell to true blue Dave Bilings

Mourners at the funeral of Dublin legend Dave Billings
Mourners at the funeral of Dublin legend Dave Billings
Cian O'Sullivan, Bernard Brogan and Paul Flynn pay their respects
Mourners at the funeral of Dublin legend Dave Billings
Bertie Ahern at the funeral
Darragh Maloney
Dave Billings

Gaa stars, sports pundits and a former Taoiseach were among those paying their respects at the funeral of former Dublin selector Dave Billings.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in the spring sunshine at St Gabriel's Church in Dollymount on Saturday.

The popular 63-year-old died suddenly last Wednesday.

A Dublin U21 footballer and hurler, Mr Billings was an All-Ireland SFC winner in 1974 as part of Kevin Heffernan's ground-breaking squad.

He later managed the Dublin U21 footballers and numerous UCD teams (where he worked as Gaelic Games executive), while taking temporary charge of the Dublin senior hurlers in the early noughties.

He was also part of two backroom teams for the senior footballers during Paul Caffrey and Tommy Lyons' tenures as Dublin manager.

In a statement, the Dublin County Board expressed their "shock and sadness" at Dave Billings passing, describing him as a "Gaelic evangelist" who dedicated large parts of his life to both football and hurling.

INFLUENCE

"His influence spread much further than the confines of the playing fields of Dublin city and county as Dave acted as a trusted mentor and guiding light to students from all over Ireland during his 18 years as UCD Gaelic Games Executive in Belfield," the statement added.

Members of the Dublin panel at the funeral were captain Stephen Cluxton, forward Bernard Brogan and Paul Flynn.

Other members of the Dublin GAA team who were there to pay their respects were Cian O'Sullivan, Eoghan O'Gara and former manager Paul Caffrey.

Also in attendance were RTE sports presenter Darragh Maloney, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Frank O'Driscoll, father of former Ireland rugby captain Brian.

A guard of honour was also formed by members of his beloved GAA club St Vincent's, whom he frequently represented as a player over the years.

A long queue stretched almost out of the church gates, as mourners waited to sign a book of condolences that had been placed outside.

The congregation then made their way to Glasnevin cemetery, where the former Dublin star was laid to rest.

 

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