Dignified funeral service for Louis Lentin

Large attendance included abuse survivors whose cause he helped

Louis Lentin was perhaps best known as producer of the 1996 ground-breaking documentary Dear Daughter on child abuse at a Dublin orphanage. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Louis Lentin was perhaps best known as producer of the 1996 ground-breaking documentary Dear Daughter on child abuse at a Dublin orphanage. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 21:27

The funeral of Louis Lentin (80) at the Jewish cemetery in Dublin’s Dolphin’s Barn this evening was short, simple and dignified.

Former RTÉ head of drama and producer of the 1996 ground-breaking documentary Dear Daughter on child abuse at a Dublin orphanage, he died in Wexford General Hospital on Tuesday night after a sudden illness.

As a theatre director he was also among the first to produce Beckett plays in Ireland.

Cantor Alwyn Shulman led a brief prayer service over the plain coffin, men with covered heads on one side, women on the other in a funeral room at the cemetery, before the remains were carried to the graveyard outside, followed by mourners and sympathisers.

Prayer

There were some brief pauses on the short journey for further prayer, before arrival at the open grave with a mound of fresh earth at its side.

The coffin was lowered and the Lentin family began filling in the earth, led by son Miki, wife Ronit and daughter Alana. There were followed by other relatives and friends.

Cantor Shulman led more prayers, after which the attendance formed two lines between which the chief mourners left the cemetery back to the funeral buildings where all who attended washed their hands, as is the custom.

The chief mourners then sat inside and accepted the sympathies of those in attendance.

President Michael D Higgins was represented by Lt David Lyons of the Naval Service. Also present was Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White, Trinity College Senator Seán Barrett, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, and former Fianna Fáil TD and Dublin Lord Mayor Ben Briscoe.

Film-makers

There too were RTÉ director general Noel Curran, RTÉ Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent Joe Little, retired RTÉ broadcaster Rodney Rice, Press Ombudsman Peter Feeney, film-makers Donald Taylor Black and Gerry Gregg.

Also present were Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental, Maurice Cohen and Estelle Menton of the Jewish Representative Council, Donal and Cliona Buckley, husband and daughter of the late abuse survivor Christine Buckley, Carmel McDonnell Byrne and Maureen Taylor of the Aislinn centre, abuse survivor Bernadette Fahy, academic Piaras MacEinrí, actor Tom Hickey, and Kate Shanahan of the Dublin Institute of Technology.