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Huge Turnout for Funeral of Eamonn O'Connor

Christy Moore, Tommy Tiernan and Michael Flatley were among the stars in attendance...

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 05 Sep 2013

Eamonn (above, right) with Peter Aiken.

There was a huge turnout for the funeral today of Eamonn O'Connor, the Managing Director of Ticketmaster Ireland, who died earlier this week after a short illness.

"It was oversold," one mourner commented wryly – a view that would have been appreciated by Eamonn O'Connor himself.

The crowd spilled out into the area surrounding the church, as stunned senior members of the music industry exchanged sombre expressions of shock. "It's impossible to believe," Mike Adamson of Live Nation, Ticketmaster's sister company, said. "I just can't get my head around it. He will be such a huge loss."

It's a sentiment that was widely shared among the mourners.

"I was with Eamonn at Oxegen just a few weeks back and he was in great form, not a care in the world," Brian Spollen of MCD said. "It's hard to take it in."

Eamonn is survived by his wife Breda, his son David, mother Maureen, brothers Brian and Shay and sisters Aileen and Mary.

The eulogy was delivered by his brother Shay O'Connor and a lovely rendition of 'The Parting Glass' added a fine touch, bringing things to an emotional conclusion. The family shared condolences with the gathering outside the church on Navan Road, before the funeral left Dublin, heading south west to Clare, where Eamonn will be buried.

All of Ireland's big music promoters were in attendance, with Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions among the pall-bearers. The funeral was also attended by Maurice Cassidy, who was involved with the late Jim Aiken in the start-up of the Ticket Shop, where Eamonn O'Connor began his full-time career in the music business; Denis Desmond, Caroline Downey, Brian Spollen and Brian Whitehead, among numerous others from MCD; John Reynolds and Robbie Butler of Pod Concerts; Pat Egan; Bren Berry of Aiken Promotions, Mary Aiken, wife of Peter Aiken, and Clare Aiken of Aiken PR; Kieran Kavanagh; and Tommy Higgins, who had been Eamonn's partner in the ticket business and went on to become head of Ticketmaster in Europe, before retiring.

Chauffeur to the stars Mick Devine, who recently accompanied Eamonn to the US, where the diagnosis that the cancer was an especially virulent one was confirmed, reflected ruefully on how Eamonn had travelled in hope, only to be given the devastating news that there was nothing that could be done. Mark Yovich of Ticketmaster International flew into Dublin for the funeral and senior executives from the Irish operation Keith English, Stephen Kavanagh and Michel Harnett were also in attendance.

Others paying their respects to a hugely popular figure in the music industry included Christy Moore, Robert Matthews, Johnny Logan, Brush Shiels, Michael Flatley, Tommy Tiernan, Justin Green, Pat Henry, Jill Keane of O2, Dave Pennefather, Harry Crosbie, Paddy Freeney of Litton Lane, Gerry Lundberg, Áine Carmody, Jill Corway, Ken Sweeney of the Irish Independent, courier to the music industry Ken de Courier, Jimmy Doolin, Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press and PR man Tony O'Brien.

May he rest in peace.

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