herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Stars of radio and music pay tribute to RTE star Ronan Collins' mother

Ronan Collins carries the coffin of his mother, Ethna at St. Peter's Church, Phibsboro
Ronan Collins carries the coffin of his mother, Ethna at St. Peter's Church, Phibsboro
Paddy Cole pictured at the funeral of Ethna Collins, mother of RTE presenter, Ronan Collins
Joe Duffy pictured at the funeral of Ethna Collins, mother of RTE presenter, Ronan Collins at St. Peter's Church, Phibsboro

RTE's Ronan Collins bid a final farewell to his mother as large crowds turned out to pay their respects at her funeral.

Familiar faces from the world of radio and music arrived for 11.30am mass at St Peter's Church in Phibsboro to support the DJ and his family.

Popular RTE Radio One presenter Ronan (62) has been absent from his hour-long afternoon show since his 95-year-old mother Ethna passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The former musician and his wife Woody were joined by Ronan's siblings Brian, Sheila, Mary, Michael and Mark and their families, including many of Ethna's 19 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren at the ceremony.

Liveline's Joe Duffy was among the mourners attending yesterday's funeral Mass.

Showband stars Paddy Cole and Tony Kenny also turned out to pay their respects, with Kenny accompanied by his wife Joan, daughter of the legendary stage school founder Billy Barry.

Dublin native Ethna died just days before the 16th anniversary of the death of her husband Des, who passed away on March 28, 1999.

In a touching tribute read from the altar, her eldest son Brian described how the pair, who were childhood friends, had enjoyed 56 years of marriage before Des died.

Born in Glasnevin, Ethna moved to Phibsboro after she married and lived there for much of the remainder of her life before settling in Elm Hall Nursing Home in Celbridge for her final years.

religious

Despite suffering a stroke at the age of 88, Ethna "defied medical science" by recovering and living well into her 90s, Brian said.

He paid tribute to her love of gardening and card games such as poker and bridge as well as her strong religious belief, sharing with the large crowds how she was known for bringing her neighbours in Phibsboro to Mass every morning.

The funeral Mass was followed by cremation at Glasnevin Crematorium.

In Ronan's absence, RTE's Aidan Leonard and Cathal Murray have stepped in to present the afternoon music show.

hnews@herald.ie

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