Tributes have been paid to the comedian and singer Brendan Grace who passed away this week aged 68.

Best known for his character Bottler, he also starred in the hit TV sit-com Fr Ted as exiled priest Fr Fintan.

The Irish showbiz legend was an integral part of the Killarney social scene and was a regular fixture at the INEC over the years.

When the late Maurice O’Donoghue was putting Killarney and The Gleneagle Hotel on the map he employed the stand-up comic as one of his , and subsequently longest-standing, acts.

“We are greatly saddened to learn of the passing of our great friend Brendan Grace. Brendan worked hard to bring happiness and laughter to generations of Gleneagle guests. We are eternally grateful to him for creating so many memories both in The Gleneagle Ballroom and the INEC over the past five decades. Our thoughts are with his wife Eileen, his family and his many friends at this time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis. Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís,”  Patrick O’Donoghue, CEO of The Glenagle Group told the Killarney Advertiser.

He usually stayed at the International Hotel where head porter Frank O’Sullivan has fond memories of the Dubliner.

“He would come back year after year but would always remember us by name,” said Frank.

He was also a regular customer at the Handy Stores where staff member Frances Healy remembered his generosity.

“I remember singing a few songs with him in the store,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “He was very generous. He used to send down CDs for the staff and the jarveys. He would name each individual jarvey that he wanted to give the CDs to and he would follow up with a letter thanking us for our time when we were only delighted to have him here in the first place.”

Kerry County Council will open a Book of Condolences for the late Brendan Grace at the Killarney Municipal District Office from 9am today (Friday July 12).

The Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District, Cllr Michael Gleeson expressed his condolences to the Grace family, saying that Brendan Grace had a long and much-valued association with Killarney.

“Brendan Grace was a larger than life figure who brought so much happiness and enjoyment to so many people, not least during his many performances in Killarney and County Kerry over the years. We are happy to afford this opportunity to people who wish to record their condolences to do so through our Killarney office at the Town Hall. We extend our deepest sympathies to Brendan’s family and friends at this sad time,” said Cllr Gleeson.

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