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'She brought a bit of lightness to an awkward world' - mum of soccer hero Paul laid to rest

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Former Ireland star Paul McGrath at the funeral of his mum Betty in Dolphin’s Barn

Former Ireland star Paul McGrath at the funeral of his mum Betty in Dolphin’s Barn

Colin Keegan

Former Ireland star Paul McGrath at the funeral of his mum Betty in Dolphin’s Barn

Paul McGrath's late mother Betty Lowth brought "a bit of joy, a bit of happiness, and a bit of lightness" to the world, her funeral Mass heard.

A small congregation yesterday gathered at Our Lady of Dolours in Dolphin's Barn to pay their respects to Ms Lowth (83), who died at St James's Hospital last Thursday after a short, non-Covid related illness.

Among the mourners were McGrath and his sons, former Ireland manager Brian Kerr, and Irish football superfan Davy Keogh.

Fr Fergal MacDonagh told the congregation: "I asked Paul to paint a picture of his mam in words.

Humour

"He spoke lovely about his mam. He said she has a great sense of humour, and he said she was a great mother.

"I think that's the best compliment anyone can pay to their mam.

"She'd love hearing a joke, and if it was something she hadn't heard before she would tell everyone she met that day.

"People who tell jokes want to bring a little humour, a little bit of lightness to what is sometimes a very difficult and awkward world.

"Lots of people in the area have beautiful memories of your mam, Paul.

"They talk about her as a great baker, who at least once a year was a celebrity herself when she worked in the Penny Farthing Coffee shop.

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The funeral of Elizabeth Lowth

The funeral of Elizabeth Lowth

Colin Keegan

The funeral of Elizabeth Lowth

"On Pancake Tuesday, she would clear out the front window of the shop and she would stand there making pancakes."

Fr MacDonagh paid tribute to Ms Lowth's late daughter, Okune, who died in 1994 due to a rare blood disorder.

"She loved her family, took great pride in them, in her daughter Okune and her son, Paul.

"Like any parent, she was broken-hearted when her daughter died," Fr MacDonagh told the congregation.

She took great pride in her children and grandchildren.

"Their little achievements in life, whatever they were, when she did hear about them, she took great pride. It gave her bragging rights at bingo."

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Flowers pictured at the funeral

Flowers pictured at the funeral

Colin Keegan

Flowers pictured at the funeral

A pack of cards, an apron, a newspaper, a picture of Ms Lowth's children and a telly bingo card were some of the items brought to the altar.

In a tribute shared on Twitter the day after she passed away, McGrath wrote: "Last night I lost my best friend.

"My beautiful mum Betty passed away peacefully and today my heart is breaking.

"I owe everything to her. Sleep well Mum, love you. Paul x." The post was accompanied by a link to Van Morrison's Days Like This.