FR BRIAN D’Arcy described showband legend Brendan Bowyer as a ‘true Irish legend’ at his memorial Mass and burial in Wexford on Wednesday last, two years after his death.
The singer, who made his name with the Royal Showband and The Big Eight, died in May 2022 in Las Vegas.
The legendary band, The Beatles, once opened a gig for the Royal Showband in Liverpool.
The great Elvis Presley also went and watched Bowyer at one of his live concerts in America.
It was his wish that his ashes were buried in his native Wexford, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, his family was unable to his remains back to Ireland until Wednesday, two years later.
Fr Brian D’Arcy was the chief celebrant at the special memorial Mass, which was held in the Cathedral of the Most Holy Within.
The Bellanaleck priest started the ceremony by reading a letter from Bowyer’s wife, Stella, who was unable to travel to Ireland for the burial.
Fr Brian described the singer as a ‘legend.’
“[He was a] good friend and one of our heroes in life, the legendary, the great, the never to be equalled Brendan Bowyer,” he said.
A large crowd attended the memorial Mass, with many bringing memorabilia from the 1960s and 1970s with them to the service.
“So many of his friends have gone, but today I want to particularly welcome and thank his family for letting us share the beautiful man that Brendan [Bowyer] was,” he added.
“He was so proud of Waterford, so proud of Ireland, so proud of his family, so loyal to his fans – so grateful to them all.
“I know many of you have came long journeys with your head full of memories.
“Do you know what to do? Don’t listen to a word I say. Just dream on.
“The sweaty ballrooms, the skirts, the Hucklebuck shoes, the dances. Standing in awe as Brendan sang the old ballads.
“As you think of those, stay with them and thank God you were lucky enough to live through the best era we had. Why? Because of Brendan Bowyer and the showband,” he concluded.
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