U2 sing on altar as hundreds turn out to pay final respects to Tony Fenton
U2 sang Ordinary Love on the altar at the funeral of legendary DJ Tony Fenton, in tribute to the mutual affection between them down the years.
The funeral mass at Donnybrook church today was attended by some of the leading names in music, broadcasting and entertainment, to pay tribute to " one of the leading lights of the golden age of radio."
Denis O' Brien of Communicorp, Ali Hewson, singer Andrea Corr, comedian Mario Rosenstock, Niall stokes of Hotpress, chef Derry Clarke, DJs Ian Dempsey, Dave Fanning, Larry Gogan, Ray Foley and Jenny Greene, as well as restaurateur Robbie Fox, singer Dickie Rock and Gerry Ryan's widow, Moray Ryan were amongst those who were present.
President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide de campe, Lieutenant Patricia Butler.
The love of Tony's life, Sinead Lynch, was chief mourner, alongside Tony's siblings Paul, Ann, Colm and Kevin, as well as nieces and nephews.
The music was played mostly by singer Paul Harrington, a great friend of Tony's - who revealed that the late DJ had chosen the list himself - for what was to be his one final "show."
Accordingly, mourners were treated to a sunny summer's day selection of hits, including Van Morrison's Into the Mystic, and Bobby Womack's Across 110th Street.
Chief celebrant Fr Brendan Kiely - a friend for the past 25 years - brought laughter to the church with frequent affectionate mimicking of the legendary DJ's distinctive smooth caramel tones.
Friends brought up symbols of Tony's rich life, including a compass to represent his great love of sailing, a cook book, and a microphone representingvhisvgreat love of radio.
His nephew Jordan Fagan brought up Tony's much cherished letter from Chelsea football boss Jose Mourinho.
There was huge applause after U2 played Ordinary Love and afterwards Fr Kiely said "Tony would have given you the nod of respect," again in the DJ's own trademark drawl and the church burst into laughter and more applause.
Fr Kiely described him as the "Voice of a generation."
He was born for radio, he said, saying he sounded the same off-air as he did on.
Tony's former 2fm colleague and fellow PPI Hall of Fame member Larry Gogan was one of the earliest to arrive.
The world of television was also represented with comedian Mario Rosenstock and weather girl Nuala Carey, with music stars Andrea and Jim Corr also turning out.
The Today FM DJ had been undergoing treatment for the recurrent cancer he had been battling since 2011 but sadly lost the fight last Thursday, aged just 53.
"I would have known Tony since we started doing the first feiles in 1990," Justin Green of concert promoters MCD told the Herald.
"He is a legend, one in a million. There's no doubt he is spinning the discs up in heaven. I'm sure he is already running the place as well," he added.
Speaking at his removal, Fr Brendan Keeley said Tony never had a bad word to say about anyone in his life.
"I knew Tony for 23 years, since before I was a priest. We were great friends. He was just a great character," he said.
Former Today FM colleague Ray D'Arcy also attended today's ceremony as did RTE's Brenda Donoghue and Larry Gogan.
Morah Ryan, the wife of the late 2fm Dj Gerry Ryan, arrived with her daughter Lottie and restaurateur Robbie Fox was also there. Dickie Rock and Aslan's Billy McGuinness also paid tribute.
Fenton spent almost two decades at 2fm but left in 2003 and joined Today FM.
He scooped the music broadcaster of the year honour at the 2008 PPI awards.