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Monday 5 December 2016

Niall's farewell to 'great father' Billy

At the funeral of Billy Quinn were his son Niall's daughter Aisling and wife Gillian (Damien Eagers)
At the funeral of Billy Quinn were his son Niall's daughter Aisling and wife Gillian (Damien Eagers)
At the funeral of Billy Quinn were former Ireland striker Don Givens (Damien Eagers)

Former Ireland soccer star Niall Quinn paid tribute to his parents' "great love story" at his father's funeral.

St Mary's Church in Killenaule, Co Tipperary was packed with mourners from the world of sport, including former Republic of Ireland physio Mick Byrne, rugby's Mick Galwey and ex-Cork hurler Tomas Mulcahy, to pay their respects to the family of Billy Quinn.

CEO of the Capuchin Day Centre, Brother Kevin Crowley, hotelier Louis Fitzgerald and TDs Michael Lowry and Andrew Doyle were also in attendance.

Niall said that his father was "a great man, a great father and a great husband", but added that "Billy - the husband" was arguably his beloved father's greatest role.

"My mother and father's life together is a love story and I truly believe it will continue when they are reunited again," Niall said. "Daddy told mammy how much he loved her every day of their life together."

The former striker explained how Billy and Mary eloped before eventually returning to Tipperary a decade ago.

Overwhelming

"Daddy said moving home to Tipperary was his 'greatest decision' and the support we've all received since he became ill ten days ago has been overwhelming," Niall said.

In a heartfel eulogy, Niall read newspaper reports of his father's exploits with Tipperary.

A flag from the Faughs GAA club in Templeogue, for whom Billy played for many years, was draped over the coffin.

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