Thursday 22 February 2018

For this true free spirit, life was a feast to be savoured

Aengus Fanning was a man comfortable in his own skin, and a true and steady friend, Charles Lysaght told mourners at his funeral

Charles Lysaght

AENGUS FANNING first came into my life about 20 years ago when he contacted me to say that he had enjoyed my biography of Brendan Bracken, and invited me to lunch to talk about it.

In time, I came to realise that he had some of the qualities that had made Bracken a great figure in the newspaper world. Both realised that survival was the name of the game, and that the future was perilous.

Both possessed flair, operated largely by instinct and made their mark inspiring in their papers an ethos of honest, hard-hitting journalism. They were both born leaders who inspired loyalty, and were loyal themselves. They could be combative but had a capacity for conciliation. Both possessed idiosyncratic, endearing, hand-wrought personalities even more memorable than the considerable achievements of their lives.

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