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Monday 21 August 2017

We can never duplicate 'the Dude' Fenton, says pal Mario Rosenstock in touching eulogy

SEND-OFF: Stars turn out and U2 play as legend is laid to rest

Mario Rosenstock and Ian Dempsey carry the remains while attending the funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook
Mario Rosenstock and Ian Dempsey carry the remains while attending the funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook
The funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Pic Steve Humphreys 16th March 2015.
Larry Mullins Jnr, Ali Hewson, Adam Clayton, The Edge and Bono attending the funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Pic Steve Humphreys 16th March 2015.
Singer Dickie Rock attending the funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Pic Steve Humphreys 16th March 2015.
Peter Collins attending the funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Pic Steve Humphreys 16th March 2015.
Brenda Donohue attending the funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Pic Steve Humphreys 16th March 2015.
DJ Dave Fanning attending the funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Pic Steve Humphreys 16th March 2015.

COMEDIAN Mario Rosenstock delivered a heartfelt eulogy at his friend Tony Fenton's funeral telling mourners "we can never replicate 'the Dude'."

U2 performed their song Ordinary Love in the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook where around 500 people gathered to remember the beloved DJ who passed away last week after a battle with cancer aged just 53.

Singer Paul Harrington also performed at the ceremony and revealed that fittingly for Fenton - who kept the nation entertained over a career lasting more than three decades - the late DJ had chosen the song list himself for what was to be his one final "show".

The congregation was treated to a selection of hits, including Say A Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison's Into the Mystic and Bobby Womack's Across 110th Street.

II TONY FENTON FUNERAL 61S.jpg
The funeral of DJ Tony Fenton which took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook (Steve Humphreys)

Fenton's Today FM colleague Rosenstock took to the altar to pay tribute to the man who he described as "one of the greatest human beings I've ever met".

"Fun, fun, fun - those are the words that come to my mind when I think of Tony, the words keep coming up today," he said.

"He wanted to have fun himself but he wanted everyone else to have fun. He loved looking into people's eyes and watching them have fun.

"We can never duplicate 'The Dude'," he added.

The love of Tony's life, his partner Sinead Lynch, was chief mourner, alongside his siblings Paul, Ann, Colm and Kevin, as well as nieces and nephews.

Radio stars in attendance included Ian Dempsey, Ray D'Arcy, Larry Gogan, Tom Dunne, Ray Foley, Matt Cooper, Lottie Ryan, Anton Savage and Jenny Greene.

President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide de camp, Lieutenant Patricia Butler, while a host of other celebrities also attended the ceremony, including TV3 weatherman Martin King, restaurateur Derry Clarke, model Pamela Flood, comedian Dermot Whelan and singers Andrea and Jim Corr.

Chief celebrant of the mass was Fr Brendan Kiely, a close friend of Fenton for over 25 years, who was applauded for his light-hearted tribute to the DJ and also his excellent impressions of the DJ's smooth radio tones.

READ MORE: U2 sing on altar as hundreds turn out to pay final respects to Tony Fenton

There was applause after U2 played and 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.

A montage of clips from throughout Fenton's 40-year career was also played to the congregation.

Tony's love of sailing, cooking and football were acknowledged through symbols presented by his family and friends.

His nephew Jordan Fagan brought up Tony's much-cherished letter from Chelsea football boss Jose Mourinho.

Rosenstock and Dempsey joined Fenton's family in carrying his coffin from the church to the hearse which took him for burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.

hnews@herald.ie

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