The Late Late Show presenter both cried and laughed during a reflection on his mother’s life delivered by his sister, Anne Marie Herron, at the end of the ceremony before a packed congregation in Terenure.
Teresa Kenny, 89, known as “Connie”, died peacefully last Wednesday after a long illness at Kiltipper Woods Care Centre where she had lived for the past four years.
Mr Kenny used a handkerchief to wipe tears from his eyes as memories of his childhood growing up at the family home with their parents were recalled by his sister. Looking ashen-faced, the RTÉ star also became emotional as his sister described how the Kenny family had “in truth lost Connie a long time ago” due to illness. Ms Kenny had suffered from Alzheimer’s.
“To see her confused and bewildered was very difficult for us all,” said Ms Herron. “Even more difficult was her mental absence from us as she was unable to share in family occasions.”
Hundreds of mourners attended Ms Kenny’s funeral Mass at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Kimmage Manor, her local parish before she moved to live in a nursing home.
One of her other son’s described her as “a people person”, while parish priest Fr Pat Doody, said he remembered Ms Kenny as “a great conversationalist”.
Chief mourners were her sons, Pat, who was accompanied by his wife, Cathy, Paul and Frank and daughters, Mary and Anne Marie, and brother, Frank as well as ten grandchildren, including Mr Kenny’s daughters, Christina and Nicole and two great-grandchildren.
Earlier this week, the 60-year-old star described his late mother with whom he had a close relationship as “a fabulous woman.” He said: “She was also a very courageous lady who bore her illness with great dignity. She live a good long life and I will miss her greatly.”
Among those attending the funeral were former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, RTÉ director general, Cathal Goan and celebrity tailor Louis Copeland.
There was also a large turnout from Mr Kenny’s colleagues at RTÉ, including Joe Duffy, Miriam O’Callaghan and Dave Fanning, as well as Drivetime presenter Mary Wilson and news reader Eileen Dunne.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen, was represented by his aide-de-camp, Comdt Liam Drumgoole, while Fr Dermot McCarthy, former head of religious programming at RTÉ also concelebrated the funeral Mass.
Mr Kenny’s father, Jim died after a long battle with cancer in 1982 aged 74.
After yesterday’s funeral mass, Ms Kenny’s coffin was brought to the family plot at Glasnevin Cemetery for burial.