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Book of condolence opened in Dublin's Mansion House for Brendan Grace

It was confirmed earlier today that the comedian had died aged 68.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Updated Jul 11th 2019, 3:00 PM

A BOOK OF condolence has been opened in Dublin for Irish comedian Brendan Grace. 

The book was opened in the Mansion House by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe this afternoon for people to express their sympathy for the comedian who has died aged 68. 

The Mansion House will remain open to the public to sign the book of condolence until 5pm today. It will reopen tomorrow between 10am and 5pm. 

The veteran comedian, who regularly drew large audiences to his live shows, announced earlier this month that he was cancelling a number of tour dates in July and August so he could receive medical treatment. 

He was initially hospitalised with pneumonia but it was later discovered he was also suffering from lung cancer. 

“Brendan Grace (RIP) was a true Dubliner who captured the unique Dublin sense of humour and brought it to audiences at home and across the world,” McAuliffe said.

“I am opening this book of condolences to allow the people of Dublin an opportunity to express their own feelings for the loss of Brendan Grace, a true comic genius,” he said. 

His daughter, Melanie Gillespie, told RTÉ’s Liveline that being Brendan’s child was “more than ordinary, it was extraordinary really, for so many reasons, too many to mention”. 

Top of the list being that he had the kindest, kindest heart. A heart that had enough room in it for his family and a nation, and we’re just so proud of that.

“I never remember my Dad turning his back on a fan, ever. He understood that his fans were what brought him to where he was. He genuinely loved when someone would come up to him.

“He really was a man of the public, salt of the earth. He wanted to be amongst everyone not above them,” Melanie said. 

The family was happy to share Brendan with his fans over the years but in the last week of his life, it was “our time to be with him”, Melanie explained. 

“We certainly weren’t expecting the diagnosis that he got. Then we weren’t expecting the prognosis he got. So, it has been several tough blows in a short period of time. 

“To be told that your dad had pneumonia and then to be told he has terminal cancer is so difficult. But we dealt with it so well and we came together as a united family with a strength that I don’t think any of us realised that we had.”

00028739_28739_28739 Brendan Grace in 2006 at the Gaiety Theatre for the launch of his handprints ceremony for an outstanding 35 years in comedy. Source: Graham Hughes/RollingNews.ie

Melanie believes it was Brendan who gave the family that strength, one of the many gifts he gave them in the last few weeks. 

She said Brendan told the family he had lived a beautiful, full life and that he was looking forward to seeing his loved ones who had passed. 

“I’ve never seen someone face such a horrible prognosis. He faced it with grace and dignity and bravery.

He said to me at one point, ‘if you think I was good in this life, wait until you see what I have in store when I get to the other side’.

Brendan is survived by his wife Eileen, children and grandchildren. 

Additional reporting by Adam Daly 

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