Mourners pay respects to Fr Aengus Finucane

 

THE HUNDREDS of people who gathered for the removal of Fr Aengus Finucane in Dublin last night were urged to “honour his memory by continuing to do as he did”.

The former chief executive of Concern died on Tuesday aged 77 at the Spiritan centre in Kimmage, Dublin, following a short illness.

Celebrant Fr Peter Conaty spoke of Fr “Gus” Finucane ’s first assignment in 1959 to Nigeria. During his time there civil war between Nigeria and Biafra broke out.

“Gus stayed and did everything in his power for the care of people through difficult times,” Fr Conaty said.

The response to this crisis had led to the setting up of Concern in 1968, Fr Conaty noted.

Fr Finucane had spent 41 years working with Concern and saw his mission as “love in action”, Fr Conaty said.

“He had a calling to help those in poverty in human relief as an integral part of his mission,” he said.

He described Fr Finucane as a “blessed man” of faith, compassion, integrity and courage. Gus had an ability to be with people, to work with people, to inspire so many people to do good, had the gift of friendship and a way with words, he said.

Among those gathered to pay their respects at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Kimmage Manor, last night were Concern Worldwide chief executive, Tom Arnold, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, David Begg, and Labour TD Joan Burton.

The Taoiseach was represented at the service by his aide-de-camp, Comdt Michael Treacy. The President was represented by her aide-de-camp, Comdt Áine Flynn.

Also present were members of Fr Finucane’s family. He is survived by his brothers Jim, Fr Jack, Joe, sisters Mary and Sr Patricia.

His funeral takes place this morning at 11.30 at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Kimmage Manor, followed by burial at Dardistown Cemetery.