Statement on the sad loss of our friend and colleague Fintan Farrell
It was with great sadness that we learned of the sudden death on the 24th December of our dear friend and colleague Fintan Farrell.
Fintan was a passionate advocate for social justice, with a strong commitment to tackling the structural inequality that undermines people’s dignity and human rights and results in certain communities living lives on the margins of society. Fintan’s passion was expressed through a clear and unwavering vision, a natural charisma, political astuteness, a tremendous ability to form friendships and alliances, laughter, and at times song.
Fintan strongly believed that change could only take place through collective action, particularly through and with the people and communities most impacted. It was this belief that led him initially to work with a number of communities experiencing marginalisation in different parts of the globe, and then to work closely with other like-minded people advocating for Traveller rights (through the Tullamore Traveller Movement and the Irish Traveller Movement) throughout the 1990s. It also led him, during this time, to being involved in setting up the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) in Ireland and across Europe.
Deeply committed to EAPN, Fintan served two terms as President of EAPN (Europe) and then, in 2001, moved to Brussels where he worked in a number of roles – including more than 10 years as Director from 2002. He finished up with EAPN (Europe) in 2019 but maintained his connection and friendships with the organisation – as recently as November 2022 chairing the EU Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty.
In mid-December 2022 Fintan had moved back to Ireland and – much to the delight of friends and colleagues – was about to return to EAPN Ireland to take up the role of Policy and Communications Officer. Sadly, this now will not happen.
Along with his tireless work with EAPN and Traveller organisations, over the decades Fintan brought his vast array of talents, personal charm and vision to many other campaigns for social justice and equality, in Ireland, Europe, and more globally, using the inspiration he gained from others as he went along. As a result, Fintan leaves behind a rich legacy of networks and movements with a strong commitment to participation and collective social change.
Fintan will be remembered most for his humanity, passion and wonderful sense of humour. There are a great number of people who were glad to call Fintan their friend, including countless people in EAPN, all of whom are now deeply, deeply saddened at his loss.
At this difficult time, we in EAPN want to express our deepest sympathies to all his friends, colleagues, and most particularly, Fintan’s partner Yves and his family, whom he held very dearly, and will now miss him greatly.
May he rest in peace.
Carlos Susias, President of EAPN
John Brennan, Chairperson of EAPN Ireland
Juliana Wahlgren, Director of EAPN
Paul Ginnell, Director of EAPN Ireland
You can Download the Statement HERE