Remembering Enda McDonagh


Sir, – Enda McDonagh was born into a society both physically and economically on the margins (“A theologian scholar with a towering intellect”, Obituary, Online, February 24th). His brilliance gave him a route to the centre of Irish life but he remained wedded, throughout his life, to using this brilliance and influence for those on the fringes.

A listener like no other, interested in every person he met and in every subject imaginable, Enda had a mind that knew no limits.

His deep faith was remarkable, as was his ambition for a much better world and a much fairer Ireland.

Born into Fianna Fáil, friendly with the Just Society wing of Fine Gael, yet a passionate Labour Party supporter, there was never anything narrow about Enda McDonagh.

On one of the last times I met Enda, it wasn’t church or politics he was discussing, rather it was the 1945 Connacht final when he cycled the 60-mile round-trip through torrential July rain to St Coman’s Park in Roscommon to see his beloved Mayo play against Galway.

It was one of Henry Kenny’s last games for Mayo and “the joy of watching his stylish play” was, all those years later, still imprinted on his mind.

Mayo lost that day but it never lost Enda as a passionate supporter.

His zest for justice for the oppressed always shone bright as did his support for many other causes, including, not least, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford was certainly Enda’s type of man – his attitude would be that if you are in an institution, use the platform to improve the life of others. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.