Hundreds mourn ‘legend’ with dozen Rolls Royces, red carpet and colorful coffin


Mike O’Brian, who died of a heart aged 44 attacked, was laid to rest surrounded by floral tributes to his passions from Monster Munch crisps to Only Fools and Horses

Mike O'Brian Funeral
Hundreds paid their respects to Mike O’Brian

Hundreds paid their respects to a popular builder at a huge funeral filled with colour, song and beautiful tributes.

Dad-of-two and granddad-of-four Mike O’Brian, who was born in Swansea and later moved to Cardiff’s Rover Way, died of a heart attack two weeks ago at the age of 44.

His funeral took place on Thursday with more than 20 luxury cars forming a court at the Cardiff Oratory church in Splott before Mike was buried at Western Cemetery in Ely.

He was surrounded by floral displays paying tribute to his passions — from Monster Munch crisps to Only Fools and Horses, reports Wales Online.

Mum Biddy, 67, said: “Mike was sitting down at home two weeks ago when he had a coronary. He was a family man. His life of him was his wife of him.

“I have loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. They are devastated.”

Mike O’Brian was a dedicated family man and skilled builder
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Image:

John Myers)

The builder and scrap metal merchant, who had diabetes, was a “skilled worker,” said Biddy.

She described him as “very quiet and sensitive” though he also enjoyed having a laugh with his friends.

She said: “Mike loved his food. He liked a Big Mac and a Red Bull. He lived life to the fullest.

“He loved the sun. He went with his family to Greece a couple of months ago and loved it.”

Pallbearers carry Mike’s coffin, decorated with Irish and Welsh flags
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Image:

John Myers)

“Caring and generous” Mike liked to work hard and spend his earnings on gifts for his children and grandchildren, she added.

Many Irish and Welsh flags were on show at the funeral.

Biddy said her son was as proud of his Cardiff and Swansea upbringing as his Irish heritage.

A red carpet and heart-shaped floral displays in the cemetery
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Image:

John Myers)

The dozens of vehicles in the court included 11 Rolls Royces, two Ferraris, seven Lamborghinis and a Porsche, as well as a van with a big screen showing images of Mike.

The funeral started at 12pm in Cardiff Oratory, with supercars revving and stretching the length of Swinton Street and much of Carlisle Street.

A priest threw holy water on the coffin — which had been painted in an Irish tricolor and adorned with smaller Welsh flags — as pallbearers brought it into the church.

The funeral paid tribute to many of Mike’s passions, including Only Fools and Horses
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Image:

John Myers)

Following the service, the coffin was carried into the hearse amid shouts of “go on Mike”. Speakers played a rendition of Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again with new lyrics paying tribute to Mike.

“You were your own man”, the rap went. “You always stood up on your own two.

“Your family had problems then you were the one they went to.

“Legend of a man, it was an honor just to know you. You achieved everything you wanted, you bought your own home too.”

Mike’s mum Biddy
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Image:

John Myers)

As the hear edged along Swinton Street there were emotional crowd singalongs to The Millionaire by Dr Hook and the Fields of Athenry.

The court traveled to Western Cemetery, where a dazzling array of floral tributes were waiting.

The displays tended to Mike’s passions and favorite foods, with larger-than-life models of a Monster Munch grab bag of crisps, Del Boy’s van from Only Fools and Horses, a Mars Duo chocolate bar, Rolex watch, Dairy Milk whole nut bar, Jack Daniels whiskey, curry and naan bread.

The coffin was transported in a Rolls Royce hear
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Image:

John Myers)

Set out in a display labeled “Loaf’s dinner table” were floral depictions of a burger and chips, cake, Coca Cola and noodles.

Elsewhere there was a Joop! aftershave display underneath a message reading: “Uncle Mike, The happy hours we once enjoyed, how sweet their memory is still, but losing you have left a place this world can never fill.”

A bagpiper performed as loved ones carried the coffin into the graveyard, then a set of speakers played Terry Jacks’ Seasons in the Sun.

Doves were released into the air
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Image:

John Myers)

The procession moved down a red carpet lined with hearts bearing messages including: “True love never dies, always love you Mike, from your one and only wife Fie.”

As the coffin was laid into the ground, there were more shouts of “go on Mike” and doves were released into the air.

Mike’s stepdad Roger Davies, 78, said: “I knew Mike for 22 years. He was quiet but he was very thoughtful in his own ways. He was a very family-oriented person.

Supercars revved their engines
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Image:

John Myers)

“I have loved his cars. I have liked BMWs and Mercedes.

“He’d have a car then get bored of it and change it. He changed his car like some people change their clothes.

“And he liked to work — he was always happy when he was working. He was very skilled.”

Childhood friend Tony Ashmore, 58, of Tremorfa, added: “I knew him since he was a kid. He was a friend and a work friend.

“He was the best bloke you could ever meet, a family person with a heart of gold.

“He was really good at snooker and pool. We always used to have a laugh.”

And a cousin of Mike’s, who did not want to be named, said: “He was a good kid. He was a great father and a great grandfather. I have loved snooker.

He would clean up the table. One of his favorite places to go was the shisha bar on City Road.

“The community is heartbroken. I spoke to him a few weeks ago. He was always happy, a very happy-go-lucky guy.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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