Chevron gets ‘grand finale’ farewell

Phil Chevron, who died at the age of 56
Phil Chevron, who died at the age of 56

Phil Chevron would have approved.

The Mansion House was packed with family, friends, fans, and admirers for his ‘grand finale’ — as his sister Deborah put it.

She also said the much-loved musician, who died from cancer last week at the age of 56, would have loved the fact that it was indeed a full house.

As his coffin was carried up the steps of the Mansion House, a lone piper played a haunting lament.

Then, as his coffin was carried into the Round Room, his classic number ‘Song of the Faithful Departed’ was played loudly over the PA system.

A member of each of his two main bands — The Pogues and The Radiators From Space — helped shoulder their pal’s coffin as part of the humanist ceremony.

Pogues drummer Andrew Rankin was on one side, with Radiators’ guitarist Pete Holidai on the other.

Rankin, and fellow Pogues members Daryl Hunt and Jem Finer, travelled from London for the funeral, but singer Shane MacGowan was not in attendance.

The ceremony featured moving tributes and tales from his sister Deborah, Holidai, and fellow Radiators’ musician Steve Averill, writers Joseph O’Connor and Declan Lynch, and Garry Hynes from the Druid Theatre Company.

Michael D Higgins, who had written to Chevron before his death, sent his aide-de-camp Captain Comerford to represent him at the funeral.

Deborah revealed how her brother had spent his final days at home in his mother Christine’s house in Santry, with nurses from St Francis Hospice giving him home care.

Others in attendance included actor Aidan Gillen, broadcaster John Kelly, rocker Brush Shiels, and Barry Devlin and Eamon Carr from Horslips.

The ceremony was bookended by another of Chevron’s great songs.

‘Thousands Are Sailing’ blasted out and he was given a standing ovation as his remains were carried from the room.

He was later buried in Dardistown Cemetery in north Dublin.

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