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Funeral Mass for Gerry Anderson - the man who renamed a city

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More than a thousand people gathered in St. Eugene’s Cathedral this morning for the funeral Mass of the late, great Gerry Anderson.

Mr Anderson, a veteran broadcaster with Radio Foyle and Radio Ulster passed away on Thursday morning, He had been battling ill health for some time.

This morning Mr Anderson’s Funeral Mass was attended by his many colleagues from radio and television including Eamonn Holmes, Stephen Nolan, Gerry Kelly, Joe Mahon and Paul Clarke

There were also figures from the political world including the UUP’s Mike Nesbitt and Colum Eastwood from the SDLP, as well as the many fans that had come to love Gerry so much over the years.

Music played during the service included Danny Boy and Gabriel’s Oboe.

His two friends and colleagues Michael Bradley and Sean Coyle from Radio Foyle were among those who carried Gerry’s remains into the church.

Father Paul Farren who celebrated the Mass said Gerry Anderson was a “man who knew who he was.”

“We gather to give thanks to God for Gerry’s life and for all the gifts and joy and entertainment that so many people received through Gerry, especially those into whose lives he brought light and joy when light could be dim and joy hard to find.

“Who is Gerry? In ways everybody knows Gerry and in other ways only Christine and his family really know Gerry. He is the public figure and he is the intensely private man. He is a man full of life. He is a man who died too soon.

“He is the man who could entertain the masses and the man who was never happier than when he was at home with his family around him. He is the singer, the writer, the presenter. He is the husband, the father, the brother. He is the man who could rename a city. He is the man his family describe as being a simple man who enjoys simple things. He is the man with enormous unique talent – the man with boundless generosity who is always true to himself. He is a famous man who is unaffected by fame.”

After the service Gerry’s wife Christine and children David and Kirsty were greeted by many well wishers who had come to pay their respects to the late broadcaster.

Eamonn Holmes said Gerry was a colleague and friend and recalled how they had shared many long journeys together when he was at Radio 2.

He was a legend and legends don’t die,” he added.

Stephen Nolan said Gerry Anderson was a man who never needed a script.

“A script would have been wasted on Gerry,” he said. “He was a total natural, he was incredibly helpful to me behind the scenes. On occasions when I got in trouble with the BBC Gerry would have been the first one saying: ‘Right our kid, here’s what to do.’”

“I have a lot to be grateful to Gerry for.

“No one with Gerry’s ability has gone through Radio Ulster or ever will again, he is on a completely different level.”

Mayor of Derry Brenda Stevenson said she would remember Gerry as a warm witty character and a true son of the city.

“He was a proud passionate man but very private man,” she said. “He entertained us through the years and in the dark times kept us all together. Derry will be a sadder place for his loss.”

 

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