Thousands attended the funeral of novelist Maeve Binchy in Dublin in pouring rain yesterday.

The massive crowd laughed as Father William Stuart stated that “when she got her bearings in heaven she began talking to the Almighty and she is still talking to the Almighty and will go on talking to the Almighty for a very long time.”

Fr William Stuart stated “Well, Lord, you called her, you’ll have to listen to her.”

She was, he said, “a very generous woman, and while not a churchgoer she contributed several times a year to Dalkey Church."

She told priests there she did not care what they did with the money “as long as it wasn’t spent on ‘statues or holy pictures.'"

She also said  “I know that if you are around when I die then you will dispatch me with dignity and without hypocrisy in a faith which I envy and would love to share.”

Fr Stuart stated, “She died not having come to know God but I would like to think that when she closed her eyes on this world last Monday evening, shortly thereafter she opened them and was surprised to see the face of God. But I suspect, Maeve being Maeve, she didn’t stay surprised for too long . . .”

A spray of her husband’s Gordon’s roses rested on Maeve’s coffin in the hearse. The florist told The Irish Times “It’s 99 percent Gordon’s rose. There was freesia in it as well. It has a beautiful perfume,” she said, and it had.

“She was a great lady. I’m sure she had her dark moments,” said one woman.

“Phil” had written in the book: “I was up til 3am last night reading some articles of Maeve’s and laughing and crying at the same time.”

A local coffee shop put it simply: “Maeve Binchy. Thank you.”

The beloved late Irish author Maeve BinchyGoogle Images