COUNTRY music stars were in attendance at the Sacred Heart Church in Omagh today to hear Fr Brian D’Arcy pay a moving tribute to his friend and Dromore native Pio McCann.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of the town for the funeral of Mr McCann who was well known for his involvement in the showband scene, his charity work and an illustrious broadcasting career. They included the Daniel O’Donnell, the Queen of Country Music, Philomena Begley, Nathan Carter and Lisa McHugh.
In his homily Fr D’Arcy said that Pio made people famous during an illustrious career stretching back more than 50 years.
“He could never have envisaged the journey he travelled, yet he remained a humble man all his life,” Fr D’Arcy said.
“We think of the tens of thousands of people who listened to him on Highland Radio, we think of his friends there who will be heartsore and sorry that they have lost today one of the great friends in their lives – one who will never be replaced.
“There will never be another Pio McCann. Pio was christened Patrick John McCann and was known in his younger days as Patsy. The only one who kept him calling that was his wife, Ray.
“Pio McCann does not need me or anyone else to eulogise him. Pio led all his life very much in public and the kind of life he lived was the perfect sermon for anyone to look at. What you saw was what you got and most of what you got was a good man trying to do good for as many people as he could.”
Fr D’Arcy said he remembered Pio very clearly from 1967 and 1968 and that he only knew the great Brian Coll for longer.
Following the Reqiuem Mass, Mr McCann was laid to rest at Drumragh Cemetery.
See this week’s Ulster Herald for full coverage.