Stynes given state funeral in Melbourne

Stynes given state funeral in Melbourne

A state funeral was held for Australian Rules legend and former Dublin minor footballer Jim Stynes in Melbourne earlier today.

The much-loved 45-year-old Dubliner lost his battle with cancer last week, and was honoured at the ceremony in Victoria.

GAA President Christy Cooney and ex-Dublin footballer Paul Clarke, who captained the All-Ireland minor winning side in 1984; were among those who travelled from Ireland to pay tribute to Stynes at the funeral which was relayed live on TV.

Up to 5,000 people packed into Federation Square to watch the broadcast of the service from St Paul's Cathedral.

Jim's younger brother Brian spoke in his eulogy of his weekly calls to home where the family would crowd around the phone to speak to him.

"He was a big, generous and fun older brother and we all adored him," he said.

Concluding his speech, Brian added: "I tried following in his footsteps, but they were always too big."

Former Aussie Rules team-mate and ex International Rules coach Garry Lyon spoke of Jim's strength in adversity.

"Consistency was a cornerstone of Jim's footie career," he said.

Lyon added: "I owe it to Jim to be consistent today, and he'd be disappointed if I didn't take the chance to have a laugh at his expense."

After the funeral, the cortege stopped as it passed the famed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where Stynes lined out for the Melbourne Demons across an 11-year playing career.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people attended a memorial mass at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Ballyroan, Dublin last night in honour of Stynes. It was arranged by Jim's GAA club, Ballyboden St Enda's.

Among those who attended the service were the Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Bruce Davis, GAA Director General Páraic Duffy, and former Meath footballer and International Rules manager Colm O'Rourke.

During the service, memorabilia, including a number of footballs and jerseys, were brought to the altar, while a musical tribute was also played by Finbar Furey.

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