Saturday 24 February 2018

Eoghan Harris: Tribute to a powerful moral force and a friend

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

LAST Thursday, as the affairs of Anglo Irish Bank sent waves of anger and political alienation all over Ireland, I drove from Dublin to west Cork to attend the funeral of Kieran O’Driscoll of Kilbrittain; a friend I had met only once in the flesh, a teacher who preferred praise to blame; a political animal who never sought public office but believed that politics was the proudest profession.

A family man consumed by cancer in his prime, a gentle warrior who faced his death without self-pity; a moral force who left a loving mark on everyone he met.

At Kent Station in Cork I collected my old friend Oliver Donohue. He had travelled most of the way by rail because of a bad back. As we drove the last leg of the trip through the Bandon Valley to Kilbrittain, we reviewed our remarkable relationship with Kieran O’Driscoll — remarkable in that we had met in middle age, and mostly carried on our friendship by phone.

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