Aengus Finucane biography

Broadcaster, journalist and well-known author, Deirdre Purcell, tells the story of Aengus Finucane, a man synonymous with the life and times of Concern, Ireland’s largest aid agency.

"Aengus Finucane: In the Heart of Concern" will be launched by former President Mary Robinson in Hodges Figgis bookshop in Dublin on Tuesday February 17.

The book is about the life and times of Holy Ghost/Spiritan priest, Aengus Finucane, who spent his adult life at the centre of Concern.

Purcell interviews a wide range of people, who were associated with Aengus.

Inspires loyalty

She gives the reader a clear understanding of the loyalty that existed between the Limerick man and the large number of people who became closely associated with him.

Deirdre Purcell lets the myriad Concern "volunteers" tell their story of their admiration for, and friendship with, Aengus through the pages of this book.

Purcell leaves the reader in no doubt that while Aengus was always available to listen to the personal stories of people, he himself was a most private person. She hints that this particular characteristic may have had something to do with his early years in training for priesthood with the Spiritans.

Aengus made it an art form to know personally everyone who worked for Concern. On one occasion a newly recruited volunteer was not at home when he called so he ended up chatting with her mother and decided from their conversation that her daughter was a good fit for the agency. He was proved correct.

Rooted in Ireland

Along with the book giving the reader a portrait of Aengus Finucane and the early years of Concern, Deirdre Purcell also tells the story of the Ireland of the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

She cleverly weaves the story of the life and times of Aengus, who was steeped in a culture that saw beyond the shores of Ireland but is all the time conscious of his roots, whether working in crisis situations in Nigeria/Biafra, Bangladesh, Uganda or the Cambodian border.

BiographyAengus Finucane: In the Heart of ConcernDeirdre Purcell€24.99 New Ireland Press. January 2015358 pages.

Available with free P&P from Concern. Contact [email protected], telephone + 353 (0)1 417 7709

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