Sunday 19 August 2018

Finnegan's wake a sad memorial for Paddy

It isn't everybody who gets a memorial service hosted in the Mansion House - but that is where friends gathered to remember Dublin character Paddy Finnegan.

From all walks of life, they came to remember Paddy who was a familiar face to many in the city where he had sold the Big Issue magazine, outside Trinity and on Grafton Street.

Poets, musicians, artists and friends of the 71-year-old held the 'Finnegan's Wake', because some had not heard that he had died on July 16 until he was already buried.

Memorial

Organisers of the event Michael Lacey said that Lord Mayor Christy Burke had agreed to make the Oak Room in the Mansion House available for the memorial.

"Paddy was extremely learned in Latin and Greek, as well as Irish and English. He spoke in poetry and prose all the time," said Michael who first met him in 1966.

Dublin was Paddy's adopted city - he had come to work as a civil servant and a bus conductor after being educated in Tuam, County Galway.

"For a while, he worked as a bus conductor on the number 13 bus, and we used to try and get on the bus he was on. He was great fun, quoting from the Greek classics and speaking in his rich Galway accent.

"He was a boisterous bard, and a well-bred one," added Michael.

Mr Finnegan was described as being a long-term student of UCD, but he never graduated.

He was chosen to translate Yeats's The Lake Isle of Innisfree into Irish, and also contributed to a book to mark the 60th birthday of poet Brendan Kennelly.

He is survived by his family and many friends.

fdillon@herald.ie

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