Tearful RTE presenter Marty Morrissey describes death of mother as ‘greatest tragedy’ of his life at funeral

Heartbroken RTE presenter Marty Morrissey gave a tearful eulogy to his beloved mother Peggy at her funeral which he described as the “greatest tragedy” of his life.

Peggy Morrissey was laid to rest in Mullagh, Co Clare, after the car she was driving crashed in Annagh near Miltown Malbay last Tuesday morning.

The 94-year-old was remembered as a “5’ 4” force of nature” and a “fiercely independent woman.”

Marty, her only child, told mourners: “We were a great team, the most formidable mother and son team in the world.

“I’ve got to let you go now mam, go to dad and tell him I love him too.

“You lived life to the full, there is no doubt Peggy Morrissey you did it your way.

“Mum, thank you for giving me the strength to do this, I love you, I love you mom and thank you for being so wonderful.”

The GAA commentator described his Cork-born mum as “argumentative, stubborn, intensely proud and to be honest, really annoying on occasions.”

Marty Morrrissey and morners carry the coffin at the funeral of his Mother Peggy at St Mary’s Church, Mullagh on Sunday. Photograph by Eamon Ward

He added: “A woman that loved human contact and thrived on conversation, craic, banter.

“She was loyal, determined, witty, funny, deeply religious, a daily mass goer, so loving, a fabulous wife, an adoring mother.

“In my humble opinion the greatest Irish mother in the history of motherhood, but then I am biased.”

Peggy and her family lived in New York until Marty was 10 when his parents “somehow gathered enough dollars” to buy a pub, now The Quilty Tavern in Clare.

Marty’s father Martin died 17 years ago next Saturday.

Fighting back tears he added: “She was a rogue, she always put on her seatbelt when she was in my car.

“I learned over the last few days, heartbreakingly, that she didn’t wear her seatbelt when she was driving herself.

“I want to thank the Gardai, the fire brigade and ambulance, who did their best to help my mother in her last few moments, I asked them when they took her out of the car, because I knew my mom was so religious, that they’d say three Hail Mary’s with me and they did, in the middle of the muck.”

He also thanked his “family in RTE” for their love and support and the GAA community nationwide.

Marty added: “I am overwhelmed by a love from Croke Park to every club and county in Ireland, who reached out to me in my hour of need.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I will answer each of those three or four thousand texts when I get a chance.”

He also gave special thanks to Sharon Shannon and Tommy Fleming who his mother “loved” for providing music and singing.

Marty added: “She often told me, especially after a row, and we often did, that she adored the ground I walked on.

“I love my mother with all my heart, I spent all my life with her and she gave me everything, total unconditional love.

“I will miss her so much. My life is changed this week. Mom, I adore the ground you walked on.

“My life revolved around you and I would do it all again if I could.”

Symbols of Peggy’s life, a family photo, a rosary beads and prayer book, her signature red lipstick, her driving licence, a stole for her work as a eucharistic minister, the Cork flag, a model of the Statue of Liberty and a local GAA jersey were brought to the altar.

The President and the Taoiseach were also represented at the funeral.

The mass St Mary’s Church, Mullagh ended with a version of My Way, made famous by Frank Sinatra.

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