herald

Monday 5 December 2016

'The legend that is Johnny Lyons will live on' - brother tells mourners

The funeral of 98fm DJ Johnny Lyons.
The funeral of 98fm DJ Johnny Lyons.

Purple Rain by Prince was played as a tribute by radio stations across the country today in memory of larger than life presenter Johnny Lyons.

An atmosphere of sharp grief was broken by laughter prompted by stories shared of the popular 98FM sports presenter at his funeral.

His brother Maurice told mourners he had lost a fantastic brother and everyone had lost a fantastic character but added: "the legend that is Johnny Lyons will live on."

Chief mourners at the requiem mass at the Church of St Therese in Dublin's Mount Merrion were Maurice, Johnny's godmother Eithne, sister-in-law Aileen, nephews Kenneth, Andrew, Keith and niece Heidi.

His friend John Duggan, Sports Editor at Today FM, described Johnny as "a rock star in the city" and said everyone were automatically bowled over by his friendship.

He wrote articles for the Irish Times and for Hot Press but it was at 98 FM that "he found his voice," he said.

Mr Duggan said he never met anyone that loved football so much and was the radio authority of the Irish Football team.

He would wear a Dutch jersey to a Republic of Ireland press conference but would be the one to ask the tough questions.

His interview with Katie Taylor last year was a stand out piece of work.

"Johnny called me his yin to his yang," said John, describing him as a "beautiful man."

He could be an alpha male at times, he added.

He had a beautiful blend of class and intellect.

"His religion apart from rock and rock and football was his inherent goodness," he said.

The people of Dublin were his third family after his own and the staff at 98fm, said John, adding "He was a legend in Dublin and a force of nature."

"He made you feel better about yourself - how many people can do that?" asked John.

 Maurice described his beloved brother as good-natured, a good listener, who always had time for other people.

He was highly intelligent - though technologically challenged - he added to laughter from the congregation.

Johnny Lyons will be missed, Maurice said.

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