Saturday 20 July 2019

U2 stars' final farewell to 'travelling pastor' Jack

Bono and Ali Hewson at the funeral
Bono and Ali Hewson at the funeral
Larry Mullen at the funeral of Rev.Jack Heaslip at St.Marys Church Howth
Edge at the funeral
Adam Clayton and wife Mariana Teixeira de Carvalho
Adam Clayton at the funeral of Rev.Jack Heaslip at St.Marys Church Howth

U2 joined around 100 mourners at the funeral of their 'travelling pastor' Jack Heaslip, who passed away at the weekend.

The group's frontman Bono was accompanied by his wife Ali Hewson to the service at St Mary's Church, Howth yesterday afternoon as they paid their respects to their friend.

The 71-year-old clergyman passed away at his home over the weekend after a prolonged battle with motor neurone disease.

Their relationship with the pastor dates back to the 1970s, when he worked as a guidance counsellor in Mount Temple Secondary School which they all attended.

When the band was on tour he helped the hundreds of staff and crew members - who were away from homes and families - cope with the challenges of isolation and long-distance travel.


Presiding over the service, Rev Kevin Brew described how Rev Heaslip would not have wanted the funeral to focus on himself.

"Jack made a lasting impression on so many people in so many ways. Jack being Jack, he would have had certain views on how his funeral to be conducted.

"It was not to focus on him but rather on the Christian faith he proclaimed in so many different ways," Rev Brew said.

The congregation, including U2 members Larry Mullen, Adam Clayton and the Edge, listened intently as Bono addressed the service.

Having been involved in a serious cycling accident last year in New York, the singer moved gingerly to the altar to quote a passage from Isaiah 61, in keeping with the instructions of Rev Heaslip not to have the funeral service be about him.

Other familiar faces were also in the crowd, a number of whom knew the deceased through his work with U2.

The band's former manager Paul McGuinness arrived to pay his respects, as did artist Guggi and the group's soundman Joe O'Herlihy.

As the service concluded, Rev Heaslip's coffin was carried out into the blustery spring morning, with mourners rising to give the reverend, mentor and friend to so many people a farewell round of applause.


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