Irish tenor Ronan Tynan sang to an emotional George HW Bush in his final hours
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Irish tenor Ronan Tynan sang to an emotional George HW Bush in his final hours

IRISH TENOR Ronan Tynan was at George HW Bush's side during the final few hours of the former US President's life.

The New York Times reports that Tynan sang poignant renditions of Silent Night and a Gaelic song for the 41st president of the United States at his home in Houston.

In a moving description of the scene that unfolded, former secretary of state and friend James A. Baker revealed to the newspaper how the late President began "mouthing the words" as Tynan sang Silent Night.

It made for a magical and moving moment in Bush's final hours - and yet it was almost completely unplanned.

Tynan had only got in touch on Friday to see if he could drop in and pay his respects to the President.

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When he arrived there, former chief-of-staff Jean Becker asking the Irishman to deliver one final, unforgettable, personal performance for the man she worked side-by-side with, in the Oval Office.

Tynan duly obliged, giving Bush the perfect Irish send-off after a prolonged period of ill health.

Born in Dublin, Tynan is a member of the famed Irish Tenors and previously performed at the state funeral of Ronald Reagan, Bush's predecessor and the man he served under as Vice President.

Previously diagnosed with a form of Parkinson's disease that left him confined to a wheelchair or motorised scooter, Bush had been in and out of hospital over the past few months.

He's now at peace, eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush, at the age of 73.

Bush was 94 at the time of his death. His faithful service dog Sully, meanwhile, remains at his side, lying in front of the 41st president's casket.

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