Thousands of mourners bid farewell to Dublin GAA ‘superfan’

Tony ‘Molly Malone’ Broughan followed GAA football team for decades

 

Thousands of mourners have turned out to honour Dublin GAA superfan Tony ‘Molly Malone’ Broughan, who was buried on Tuesday.

The 89-year-old died at his son’s home in Cabra last Wednesday after a short period of illness.

As the father-of-eight’s coffin was carried shoulder high by Dublin jersey clad pall bearers into his Requiem Mass at the Church of the Most Precious Blood on Faussagh Avenue, the strains of Amazing Grace could be heard.

A Dublin fan pictured at the funeral of Dublin supporter Tony Broughan. Photograph; Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin
A Dublin fan pictured at the funeral of Dublin supporter Tony Broughan. Photograph; Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

The Sam Maguire Cup and a photograph of Mr Broughan sat aloft his coffin. A fresh floral bouquet of white lilies adorned the altar.

His coffin was draped in three specially made flags, with one bearing the words ‘Tony Molly Malone’, and another made by the GAA fans supporters club Hill 16 which detailed how he followed the Dublin team for 70 years.

Symbols of Mr Broughan’s life were carried to the altar by his grandchildren.

Before the funeral mass, members of the Dublin minor and senior football teams stood alongside mourners from around the country along the route from his home on Carnlough Road in Cabra West to the church and from the church to Glasnevin cemetery.

Mourners carry a banner depicting Dublin supporter Tony Broughan outside his funeral at the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Cabra. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin
Mourners carry a banner depicting Dublin supporter Tony Broughan outside his funeral at the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Cabra. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

His cortege paused for several minutes outside Croke Park stadium in a final goodbye on the way to the cemetery where he was buried beside his wife Rose, who died three years ago.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only 50 mourners were allowed into the church.

The funeral heard he was an avid Dublin supporter all his life and will be deeply missed by fellow Dublin supporters, notably on Hill 16, along with Naomh Fionnbarra GAA club, Handball Alley and friends at the Sunday night sing along club.

Mr Broughan’s daugther-in-law Christine told mourners Mr Broughan “loved his family, but the GAA was his religion”.

The congregation was also told that Mr Broughan “lived for Dublin playing against Kerry” and travelled the 32 counties to watch GAA matches.

“He will forever watch down on Dublin and his beloved teams and was so grateful to Jim Gavin, the senior football team manager and to his teams who won the five-in-a-row. Hill 16 will always have a void because Tony has left us.”

Mr Broughan is survived by his daughters Rosemary, Patricia, Audrey, Martina and Jacinta and his sons Anthony, Terry and Kenneth.

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