Saturday 18 November 2017

Fond farewell as legendary editor is laid to rest

LEGENDARY newspaper editor and "man of action" Aengus Fanning was laid to rest today.The great and the good of Irish life were out in force to bid farewell to the Sunday Independent chief at a moving requiem mass at Glasthule in Dublin.

Large numbers of mourners attended St Joseph's Church in the village to pay final respects to the legendary editor. One of the giants of the Irish media, he died on Tuesday, aged 69. His final journey was to St Jerome's crematorium in Harold's Cross.

People from many walks of life attended the Mass, reflecting his passions for a huge variety of interests.

Chief among the mourners were his wife, Anne Harris, deputy editor of the Sunday Independent; sons Dion, Evan and Stephen; step-daughters Constance and Nancy; and brothers Rio, Patrick and Connell. He was predeceased by his first wife Mary, mother of his three sons.

At his removal at the church last night were many colleagues from Independent Newspapers and from the media, including Gavin O'Reilly, chief executive officer of Independent News & Media plc; Joe Webb, chief executive of Independent News & Media Ireland; former Independent Newspapers chairman, Dr Brian Hillery; Michael Denieffe, group managing editor; Stephen Rae, editor of the Evening Herald; Colm McGinty, editor of the Sunday World; Willie Kealy, deputy editor of the Sunday Independent; and Frank Cullen, co-ordinating director of National Newspapers of Ireland.

Former editor of the Irish Press Tim Pat Coogan, FAI chief executive John Delaney, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar, and Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea were also in attendance.

The service was celebrated by local priest, Father Denis Kennedy, a friend of Aengus, who was assisted by parish priest Father Billy Farrell and Brother Ciaran from Glenstal Abbey.

Fr Kennedy said his friend Aengus was "a doer and a man of action" who, throughout his life, "did much good."

Mr Fanning was the country's longest-serving national newspaper editor, having served in the role for 28 years until his death.

A native of Tralee, Co Kerry, he joined Independent Newspapers as a reporter in the late 1960s.


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