Father Ted star and comedian Brendan Grace dies aged 68
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Father Ted star and comedian Brendan Grace dies aged 68

IRISH COMEDIAN and singer Brendan Grace has died.

The 68-year-old passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning, 11 July.

His family issued a short statement to RTE confirming the news and expressing their gratitude for all of the support they have received since his illness was announced, last week.

Grace was first admitted to hospital back in June for suspected pneumonia.

It subsequently transpired that he was also suffering from lung cancer. He had been received treatment ever since.

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A tour of Ireland in July and August was cancelled due to his illness.

As a musician, Grace's impressive string of hits included, most notably, the chart-topping Irish song Combine Harvester, which was later covered by The Wurzels.

A popular stand-up comedian he was noted for his impressive and amusing array of characters, including the Bottler and the Father of the Bride which left Irish audiences in raptures down the years.

Grace is also familiar to UK comedy fans thanks to a memorable guest appearance on Father Ted.

He played the rude and amusingly abrasive Father Fintan Stack in the episode New Jack City, which sees him join the Parochial House as Father Jack’s short-lived replacement.

Born in Dublin, divided his time between a home in West Palm Beach, Florida, and his pub in Killaloe, County Clare, the aptly named 'Brendan Grace's Bar'.

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A comedian and storyteller of the highest order, Mrs Brown’s Boys creator Brendan O’Carroll has led the tributes to a man who was much-loved and will be much-missed.

"So sad at the passing of a great comedy legend, husband and father #brendangrace He opened doors for so many of us and leaves a legacy of love and laughter that will echo through this land and we will all mourn his passing," he wrote.

"Rest peacefully Bottler you’ve earned it."