A quiet goodbye for Chuck Feeney

Saddened by the lack of coverage of the philanthropist’s funeral

Sir, – On the same day (Friday, December 8th) that enormous publicity was given to the large funeral of Shane MacGowan and to the list of what were termed “celebrities” from the musical world, a small family funeral was taking place in Glasnevin which did not merit mention on Friday’s RTÉ news bulletins, nor make it to the front pages of any of our national newspapers the following day.

The funeral I refer to was for the man who quietly gave the people of this country a reputed €1.8 billion, much of it funding our major universities through his staggeringly generous gifts ranging between €91 million and €168 million each over many years.

Initially his patronage was given on the understanding that his philanthropic support would be arranged without mentioning his name. Word eventually got out that the donor was Chuck Feeney.

Through his company, Atlantic Philanthropies, he was also wonderfully supportive to various peace initiatives designed to end the conflict in Northern Ireland.


Chuck Feeney chose to be buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, where he was laid to rest in the presence of his wife and family, together with some former business associates and beneficiaries.

Known always as being incredibly modest, he gave away all of his honestly made money from the emerging development of duty-free shops.

Overall, it is estimated that he donated more than $7 billion, helping 6,000 causes worldwide.

I am really saddened that the burial in Dublin of such an extraordinary patron of education and other causes in this country did not qualify for such inclusion in any of our frontline news bulletins, published or broadcast.

Not that he would have wanted a big fanfare, but I do feel we owe this man an enormous gratitude.

In fairness to President Michael D Higgins, he did make it to Chuck Feeney’s burial before going on to attend Shane MacGowan’s funeral Mass in Nenagh. – Yours, etc,



Co Wexford.