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Brendan Bowyer's life celebrated at his funeral

The funeral of Waterford music icon, Brendan Bowyer, took place in the City this afternoon.

Brendan died in Las Vegas in 2020 but hundreds of people packed into the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity Within for his memorial service today.

As the ceremony began for this Freeman of Waterford, the priest thanked his family for allowing us to share in the beautiful man that he was.

Fr Brian D'arcy spoke fondly of his friend and the legacy he left behind at the funeral:

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As his ashes arrived at the Cathedral, people were lined up on the street outside, while a bigger crowd waited inside.

His wife, Stella, and his children were present, including Aishling Bowyer, who took the stage with her father many times.

He never forgot his Waterford routes and returned regularly, including in 2005 when he and Aisling headlined the entertainment for the great Tall Ships Festival, performing to a crowd here of over 12,000.

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The singer, who was famous for songs like The Hucklebuck and Kiss Me Quick, became the first Irish artist to have a number one hit in Ireland in 1963 with the Royal Showband.

A friend and fellow bandmate of Brendan's, Eddie Sullivan, spoke of his time with Brendan and explained the impact he had on people. He explained:

"He was the superstar of the sixties, that goes without saying. His big ballads set him apart from the rest... The crowd used to just stop dancing, they couldn't believe this was happening in a ballroom,"

During the funeral, Fr D'arcy touched on how Brendan and his friends revolutionised the music industry.

Having had huge success with the Royal Showband Brendan then formed the Big Eight, and permanently moved to Las Vegas.

There he rubbed shoulders with the likes of the King himself, Elvis Presley, who was a big fan of Brendan's.

Fr D'arcy described him as "the legendary, the great, the never-to-be-equaled, Brendan Bowyer."

A private burial of his ashes took place after the ceremony.

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