Mullins remembered as 'a warrior' and 'fighter who never gave up'

Great and good of Dublin and wider GAA world gather to pay tribute to iconic former Dubs' midfielder 
Mullins remembered as 'a warrior' and 'fighter who never gave up'

Kerry legend and a former adversary of Brian Mullins, Jack O'Shea, at the Dublin man's funeral in Griffith Avenue on Wednesday.

Brian Mullins was remembered as 'a warrior, a fighter who never gave up' as the GAA world gathered to pay its respects to the Dublin icon at a funeral service in the capital on Wednesday. 

During a mass which took place in Mullins' Marino stomping grounds at St Vincent de Paul Church, on Griffith Avenue, moving tributes were paid to the legendary midfielder, who died last week at the age of 68 after battling a short illness.

The service brought together many of the biggest figures in Gaelic Games with Dublin teams of present and past paying their respects to a player who was a figurehead of the Dubs' teams of the 1970s and 80s. John O'Leary, Jimmy Keaveney, Charlie Redmond and Jason Sherlock were just some of the Dublin luminaries gathered with the likes of Mickey Harte, Joe Kernan and Jack O'Shea also present. 

GAA President Larry McCarthy was among the congregants with both President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Michael Martin represented by their aides-de-camp.  

One of Mullins' three sons, Bernard, described the life his father lived on and off the pitch and how he impacted the lives of so many not just in his GAA career in the capital but in Donegal where he moved to teach and Derry, who he managed to an Ulster title. But his deepest impact was with his club, St Vincent's. 

Salute to a legend: Dublin GAA fan Felim O'Heanaigh from Blanchardstown walks alongside the remains of Brian Mullins (late of Clontarf, Dublin and St Vincent's GAA Club) as they leave St Vincent de Paul Church following his funeral at Griffith Avenue Dublin. Pic: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos
Salute to a legend: Dublin GAA fan Felim O'Heanaigh from Blanchardstown walks alongside the remains of Brian Mullins (late of Clontarf, Dublin and St Vincent's GAA Club) as they leave St Vincent de Paul Church following his funeral at Griffith Avenue Dublin. Pic: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

“St Vincent’s is where dad, from a young age, found his clan, his tribe, his gang and nothing made him happier than spending time in St Vincent’s,” the younger Mullins said. “At St Vincent's matches or with St Vincent’s people, he was a true clubman in every sense of the word. He would do anything for the club, I mean anything.

“Whether as a player, coach, selector, fundraiser, organiser, committee member, adult games director, chairman or even watering the pitch with his own car and a hose, he did everything and loved every minute of it too.”

Celebrant Fr Eamonn Bourke, who is also UCD Chaplain, detailed the impact Mullins had on the university and spoke of how he had bravely fought the brain tumour. Mullins is survived by partner Elizabeth, wife Helen, daughter Jackie and son, Pádraig, Nathan and Bernard, who described how his father would like to be remembered with "great pride and dignity". 

“He was a wonderful father and an incredible grandfather to all of his grandchildren whom he loved so very much,” he said.

“Our dad was a warrior, a fighter who never gave up. He never shied away from the fight when it was put up to him. Unfortunately, this is one fight he didn't win. Not because he didn't try, but sadly because this is a fight he couldn't win.

"That didn't stop him dealing with his cancer with unbelievable strength, determination and courage despite his diagnosis.

"He made us all very proud. He faced on to every challenge along the way. He had an amazing courage and strength and he passed as he would like to be remembered with great pride and dignity right up to the very end. I’m sure not one of us would want to be held to account for every moment of our lives, but how many of us could say that our best moments were as magnificent as his.”

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