Saturday 20 January 2018

Giant of a man in every way possible

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

TO his many colleagues in the world of journalism, Eugene Moloney was the hack's hack; the go anywhere, anytime reporter, who could be relied upon to get the story.

That was only one aspect of this giant of a man. Yes, he cut a towering, long-legged figure, but he also filled those shoes with a generosity of spirit, a ready smile and a trademark bear hug.

Eugene Moloney was a devoted son to his late mother, Peig, with whom he was laid to rest in St Mura's, Fahan, Donegal, a much missed brother, a "magic uncle" and loving partner to his Vietnamese fiancée Chichi Tran.

Larger than life, Eugene didn't stop there. The music lover had an eclectic collection that often entertained weary souls into the early hours.

Back in the day, he happily made tapes for colleagues or friends who shared an interest in a particular artist. He didn't have to be asked.

EXOTIC

While colleagues divvied up their leave on a week here or a fortnight there, Eugene, the inveterate traveller, managed to disappear for weeks at a time. Asia and South America were favourite destinations, not least because it allowed him indulge his taste for exotic food and drink.

He joined Independent Newspapers in the early '80s, after making his name in Belfast during the Troubles. He returned to Northern Ireland regularly to cover ongoing events in the '90s.

If he had infuriating moments, he quickly disarmed with that big and ready smile, and perhaps an ever bigger story.

One day, Eugene sashayed out of the Irish Independent newsroom for the last time and made his beloved Vietnam a second home. He returned to Ireland occasionally and he had been back for some months before his untimely death.

Irish Independent

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