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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Tributes paid to Concern stalwart Finucane

Fr Finucane’s efforts for famine relief were ‘exemplary’. Photo: Liam Burke
Fr Finucane’s efforts for famine relief were ‘exemplary’. Photo: Liam Burke

Ed Carty

Tributes have been paid to Fr Jack Finucane, a humanitarian and leading member of Concern, following his death.

Along with his late brother, Fr Aengus Finucane, the Limerick-born priest was at the heart of famine relief efforts in Biafra in the 1960s and Ethiopia in the 1980s.

He advised Bob Geldof on the Live Aid appeal and brought Bono to the East African nation in 1985.

The U2 frontman said he was a huge influence on his thinking.

Fr Jack Finucane died on Wednesday in Kimmage Manor in Dublin at the age of 80.

President Michael D Higgins said: "Jack Finucane's lifelong commitment to protecting the dignity of some of the world's poorest and most marginalised people will stand not only as a lasting tribute to all that is good about mankind, but is exemplary in its invitation not to avert our gaze from our current challenges of global hunger and poverty."

Read More: President leads tributes as leading member Concern dies aged 80

Concern Worldwide chief executive Dominic MacSorley said: "An unassuming leader, he brought intelligence, drive and passion to what is now Ireland's leading humanitarian and development organisation.

"Along with his brother Aengus, they were a bridge between Ireland's long tradition of missionary work defining contemporary humanitarian response characterised by professional, practical, compassionate solutions on the ground."

Mr MacSorley said the true extent of Fr Finucane's achievements may never be fully understood.

Fr Finucane was ordained in 1963 and sent to Nigeria with the Holy Ghost Fathers and was at the heart of the distribution of aid being flown into Biafra by Concern and other relief organisations.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said: "He saved many lives and inspired others to join the struggle for global justice.

"His legacy will endure in the work of the organisation (Concern) he helped."

Irish Independent

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