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Tributes paid to Concern's Martin Dillon

Tributes are being paid to Concern Worldwide Country Director Martin Dillon who died suddenly just a few days short of his 54th birthday.

Martin Dillon, who worked for Concern for many years, had been leading the organisation’s operation in Zambia at the time of his death. A committed humanitarian, he had also worked for the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

News of his untimely death was greeted with shock and sadness by his colleagues.

“Martin spent 30 years of his life doing what he loved best. He was truly dedicated to the mission of serving poor people,” said Overseas Director Paul O’Brien.

“He was a true gentleman, kind and soft-spoken with a warm smile. He will be sadly missed by all those who worked with him from Bangladesh, Uganda, South Sudan, Nairobi and Zambia and indeed all of us across Concern and LWF who knew and worked with him over the years.”

Martin Dillon, who sat his leaving certificate at St Flannan’s secondary school in Ennis in 1971, was born in Kildysart in County Clare on 11 November 1954. More recently, his home base was in Askeaton in his adopted county of Limerick.

Armed with a degree in Agricultural Science from UCD, he began his overseas career as a volunteer with Concern in Chittagong, Bangladesh back in 1978.

He returned to Ireland for a year in 1981 before going back again to Bangladesh in 1982 with LWF. Having secured a Masters in Agriculture from Reading University in 1985 he spent the next 15 years with LWF in Uganda.

But Martin always kept in touch with Concern and rejoined the agency in early 2002 as Country Director for South Sudan based in Nairobi. There he continued his great commitment to the poor by responding to various emergencies and working to improve the lives of thousands of people by promoting better farming methods.

After six years in Sudan, Martin had only taken up his latest appointment as Concern Country Director in Zambia in August of this year.

The thoughts of everyone in Concern are with Martin’s wife Rebecca and his children, Christopher and Michelle, and with his sister Margaret and brothers Liam and Michael.