Hundreds of people on Wednesday filled First Church in Cambridge for a service remembering the life and legacy of Brian O'Donovan — and after the church filled, even more stood outside, watching a livestream of the service on their phones.
O’Donovan died at the age of 66 after a battle with cancer. He was the longtime host of GBH’s radio show A Celtic Sojourn and the creative force and host of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn.
The service included a eulogy made by his four children, and a musical performance by the Boston Irish Music Company.
“This sanctuary is a place of prayer, but it’s also a place of music. So much music,” said the Rev. Alex Steinert Evoy. “In fact, the first concert that Brian ever hosted happened in our own parish hall right here.”
Also at the memorial, Sighle FitzGerald, diplomat of Foreign Affairs and Trade from Ireland, read a letter of condolence from Irish President Michael Higgins.
“I know at the heart of all Brian's work and energy laid an immense pride in Ireland and his home place of Clonakilty, County Cork,” the letter read. “On behalf of the people of Ireland, may I express the pride of all of us in him.”
One of Brian O’Donovan's sons, Aidan O’Donovan, said many will be lost without him in our lives, but that we need to continue living for him.
“I think I speak for everyone here when I say that I’ll strive to be as passionate and as kind as my father. I will think of him and honor him every day,” Aidan O’Donovan said. “Now, as he would say, the show must go on.”
You can watch a recording of the memorial service for Brian O'Donovan at First Church in Cambridge below.