Her on-screen children have paid tribute to veteran actress Jean Costello, who played Rita from 1990 until 2010 when she left the show due to illness.
Ciara O'Callaghan, who plays Suzanne, told The Sun: "It was very emotional for us the fact that Jean's character was being buried.
"For all of us, being so close to Jean, it was very tough. A lot of the emotion, the tears you'll see, is real."
Sarah Flood, Carrigstown's Yvonne, reflected: "The funeral scenes were very upsetting. The cast really are like your second family.
"It's been very hard without Jean. The public will miss her because she's like the Irish mammy."
Jim Bartley, who portrays Darren, commented: "We worked together for years, we worked very well, but things happen along the way for different reasons.
"I was struck by illness as well the year before last with a near catastrophic stroke and Jean, she won't mind me saying, she's been through the mill."
Costello herself revealed that she would return to the show if asked, saying: "Jean Costello can come back, not Rita. I could be Rita Doyle's sister."
She added of her future plans: "I'll try other things. It won't be RTE. I'd love to do theatre again.
"I'll miss the money from Fair City, though. It was 23 years on a good week's wages. I feel proud of the show, but I was getting sick at the time and I had to get out. I might be back." Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad