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Funeral Service Held For RTÉ Broadcaster Gay Byrne

The funeral of legendary broadcaster Gay Byrne has been told those closest to him knew him as a "kind, generous and simple man".

Thousands gathered at Dublin's Pro Cathedral for this afternoon's service, following his death on Monday after a long illness aged 85.

The President and Taoiseach joined leading figures from broadcasting, politics, and entertainment to pay their respects to his wife Kathleen and their family, before a private burial in St Fintan’s Cemetery, Sutton.

Born in 1934, Gay Byrne would go on to forge a legendary career in Irish broadcasting, which touched the lives of millions.

Starting out with a 15 minute slot on Radio Eireann, he would go on to work in the UK for both Granada and the BBC, before landing his defining role.

In July 1962, the Late Late Show premiered.

Although conceived as a light entertainment show, the programme never shyed away from subjects which challeneged the views of a conservative Ireland.

Viewers were captivated - whether it was the Bishop and The Nightie scandal, Byrne's compassionate response to calling a competition winner whose daughter had just died, and the hosts refusal to shake Gerry Adams hand.

Byrne would also give a platform for Irish artists such as U2, Sinead O'Connor and Boyzone:

Gay Byrne would remain at the helm of the Late Late until 1999.

Millions would also allow the Dubliner into their homes through the airwaves, with the Gay Byrne Show running on RTE Radio 1 for 25 years, and Uncle Gaybo presenting other favourites such as Who Wants to be a millionaire, and the meaning of life.

In 2004, The Irish Film & Television Awards awarded Gay Byrne with its lifetime achievement award.

He had strong connections with the garden county.

After marrying his wife Kathleen in 1964 they held their wedding reception at the former downshire hotel in Blessington, while his grandfather had been coachman at Kilruddery house, where his father grew up and his mother was also a native of Bray.

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