Colm O'Rourke: Free spirit was one of the good guys
When I heard on Tuesday morning that Aengus Fanning had gone over the river, I felt a great deal of sadness with the passing of a man who was very good to me over the last twenty-something years that I have been writing for this paper.
In that time I really enjoyed every conversation with him because he was different. Sometimes I thought his ideas were off-centre but they were always refreshing and made you think. Most of the time I wondered was he just winding everyone up, as his brain seemed to turn over at a thousand miles an hour, throwing off opinions and angles to stories that required more than a little lateral thinking.
When I joined this paper after a meeting with the then sports editor, Adhamhnán O'Sullivan, another good, kindly man, I was invited to have lunch with Aengus and a few others. I assumed this was to discuss what I would write about but nothing of the sort was ever mentioned, instead the audience was treated to a one-man raconteur show on everything under the sun. Stories and laughter prevailed and then I was told on leaving to write more or less whatever I wanted.