Boyzone's Keith Duffy says farewell to 'hero' father Séan at funeral as he reveals dad battled cancer for 18 years before being 'sucker-punched' by Covid, pneumonia and fibrosis in moving eulogy

  • Earlier this week, Keith broke the news his father Séan had passed away aged 77
  • In a moving eulogy, the singer, 47, spoke about how his dad battled cancer for 18 years, beating it four times
  • Keith said Séan fell ill with pneumonia and fibrosis as well as Covid shortly after Christmas
  • He said it was 'devastating' to watch his father 'put up some hell of a fight' before he passed away peacefully 
  • The Boyzone singer, 47, was supported by bandmate Ronan Keating and Shane Lynch 
  • Séan is survived by Pat, his wife, and his three sons Keith, John and Derek

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Grieving Keith Duffy said goodbye to his 'hero' father Séan at his funeral held in Glasnevin Ireland on Thursday, supported by his family and Boyzone band members Ronan Keating and Shane Lynch.

Earlier this week, the Boyzone singer, 47, broke the news his beloved dad had passed away aged 77. 

In a moving eulogy, Keith spoke about how his father battled cancer for 18 years, beating it four times, before falling ill with pneumonia and fibrosis as well as Covid shortly after Christmas. 

Farewell: Grieving Keith Duffy said goodbye to his 'hero' father Séan at his funeral held in Glasnevin Ireland on Thursday, supported by his family and Boyzone band members Ronan Keating and Shane Lynch

Farewell: Grieving Keith Duffy said goodbye to his 'hero' father Séan at his funeral held in Glasnevin Ireland on Thursday, supported by his family and Boyzone band members Ronan Keating and Shane Lynch

According to the Irish Sun, Keith said: 'For 18 years my dad had fought cancer and I remember 18 years ago on the way to Manchester airport, coming home for the weekend on a Friday, my brother Derek telling me, "I have some bad news for you. It looks like dad has the big c", and it's so dreadful to hear those words.

'At that moment in time, you panic and you get emotional and I remember going to the airport thinking, "It's the end".

'I was devastated and I got home and saw my dad and he was fine. He said, "Don't worry son I'm going to fight this. I'm going to fight it." and fought it he did.' 

Family: Earlier this week, the Boyzone singer, 47, broke the news his beloved dad had passed away aged 77. Keith and his son Jay, 25, penned a heartfelt tribute

Family: Earlier this week, the Boyzone singer, 47, broke the news his beloved dad had passed away aged 77. Keith and his son Jay, 25, penned a heartfelt tribute 

There for him: The Boyzone singer was supported by bandmate Ronan Keating, 44, who attended the mass with his wife Storm, 40, and daughter Missy, 20

There for him: The Boyzone singer was supported by bandmate Ronan Keating, 44, who attended the mass with his wife Storm, 40, and daughter Missy, 20

Keith explained how Séan beat cancer four times and was in remission before he was 'overpowered with pneumonia, fibrosis and Covid'.

He said: 'It wasn't a battle like before - he was overpowered. It wasn't fair, the weights were on. He had three different opponents to fight at the same time - pneumonia, fibrosis and Covid but he didn't give up.

'Most people would probably lose that battle after 24 hours, my dad didn't he wasn't as tall as us I have always looked up to him and now I always will.

Moving: The men carried Séan's coffin in for the service. At the funeral, songs Keith's father loved were played including Bridge Over Troubled Water, How Long Will I Love You and Forever Friend

Moving: The men carried Séan's coffin in for the service. At the funeral, songs Keith's father loved were played including Bridge Over Troubled Water, How Long Will I Love You and Forever Friend

Family: In a moving eulogy, Keith spoke about how his father battled cancer for 18 years, beating it four times, before falling ill with pneumonia and fibrosis as well as Covid shortly after Christmas

Family: In a moving eulogy, Keith spoke about how his father battled cancer for 18 years, beating it four times, before falling ill with pneumonia and fibrosis as well as Covid shortly after Christmas

Close friendship: Keith gave Storm as hug as they arrived for the funeral

Close friendship: Keith gave Storm as hug as they arrived for the funeral 

Bandmates: Ronan and Shane Lynch were pictured chatting outside the church

Bandmates: Ronan and Shane Lynch were pictured chatting outside the church 

'He fought that fight for five days and I watched something happen. I watched the man I always considered a hero, I watched how he fought not just for himself but for us, to stay around for his grandchildren. He didn't want to go anywhere.'

Keith said it was 'devastating' to watch his father 'put up some hell of a fight' but said it was time for him to finally be at rest.   

The singer said Séan died 'very peacefully' surrounded by Pat, his wife, and his three sons Keith, John and Derek. 

At the funeral, songs Keith's father loved were played including Bridge Over Troubled Water, How Long Will I Love You and Forever Friend.  

Heartbreaking: Keith explained how Séan beat cancer four times and was in remission before he was 'overpowered with pneumonia, fibrosis and Covid

Heartbreaking: Keith explained how Séan beat cancer four times and was in remission before he was 'overpowered with pneumonia, fibrosis and Covid

He was supported by bandmate Ronan, 44, who attended the mass with his wife Storm, 40, and daughter Missy, 20. 

Ahead of the ceremony, Keith stood by the entrance of the church, greeting close friends and family members ahead of the service. 

The grieving singer wore a black suit in respect to his father, with Ronan, Storm and Missy also wearing black ensembles. 

Shane, 45, was also pictured arriving at the church and hugged a friend, before the men carried Séan's coffin in.  

Announcing his father's death on Instagram earlier this week, Keith penned: 'Séan Duffy 1945 - 2022 . Words cannot describe how heartbroken we are to announce the passing of our father/grandfather Séan.  

Hug: Keith stood by the entrance of the church, greeting close friends and family members ahead of the service

Hug: Keith stood by the entrance of the church, greeting close friends and family members ahead of the service

Strong bond: Storm and Missy linked arms as they waited for the funeral to begin

Strong bond: Storm and Missy linked arms as they waited for the funeral to begin

Mourning: The grieving singer wore a black suit in respect to his father, with Ronan, Storm and Missy also wearing black ensembles

Mourning: The grieving singer wore a black suit in respect to his father, with Ronan, Storm and Missy also wearing black ensembles

Smiling through the pain: Keith put on a brave face as he spoke to his friend Brian Ormond

Smiling through the pain: Keith put on a brave face as he spoke to his friend Brian Ormond 

'The most courageous and brave warrior we've ever known and probably will ever know. We already miss him so much. Keith&Jay. X.'  

Tributes flooded in for Séan as people added their messages of love and support in the comments section.  

The Boyzone singer and his son Jay, 25, penned a heartfelt tribute to their dad and grandad as they shared a flurry of photos.  

Keith could be seen alongside Jay as they stood by Séan's side in a number of images shared to Instagram. 

Keith's bandmate Ronan commented: 'Sending all our love.' 

Heartfelt: Storm gave a hug as she arrived for the service with Missy

Heartfelt: Storm gave a hug as she arrived for the service with Missy 

As Brian McFadden added: 'What a fighter! What a man!'

Shane added three hearts to the post as he sent his love to Keith and jay during the difficult time.   

The singer first spoke of his concerns for this father during the first UK lockdown in March 2020.

He added that he would regularly ignore his doctor's advice and still go to work as he enjoys staying active but explained that he 'hasn't been well'.

Tribute: The father and son penned: 'Words cannot describe how heartbroken we are to announce the passing of our father/grandfather Séan'

Tribute: The father and son penned: 'Words cannot describe how heartbroken we are to announce the passing of our father/grandfather Séan'

Keith told The Sun: 'My dad is not well at the moment so he is having to mind himself but even though he's not well, my dad would still get up and go to work.   

'Before the pandemic he was stuck at home for a few weeks and with the extra weeks of the pandemic he is starting to go stir crazy.

'I think he is looking forward to getting out of the house and go for a walk, you know. He has been telling me for years he is 69 so I don't think he's telling me the truth any more. He's definitely past 70.'  

Worries: The singer first spoke of his concerns for this father during the first UK lockdown in March 2020

Worries: The singer first spoke of his concerns for this father during the first UK lockdown in March 2020

Concerned: He added that he would regularly ignore his doctor's advice and still go to work as he enjoys staying active but explained that he 'hasn't been well'

Concerned: He added that he would regularly ignore his doctor's advice and still go to work as he enjoys staying active but explained that he 'hasn't been well'

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Boyzone's Keith Duffy is supported by bandmate Ronan Keating at his father Séan's funeral

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