Student Tribute to Fr. Finan

St. Nathy’s College lost a very special person, an inspirational teacher and priest and a credit to 3P for two years. In the space of a memorable two years, we had many lengthy debates and discussions with Fr. Finan, a man of great intelligence. In the room of 11C, there was never a dull moment. He taught us that English was not boring, and that it wasn’t just one subject but a blend of subjects which he emphasised with passion. It was a subject in which we could use our imaginations creatively to broaden our vocabulary.

Fr. Finan always embraced an opportunity to learn new things as he was always reading a book or the New York Times, underlining the words that evoked curiosity in him, then proceeding to look them up in a dictionary.

He also had a love for theatre and film, often reminiscing about his visits to the many theatres he frequented in London. He had a great love for diverse cultures and immersed himself in them as he recalled thirty summers spent in Highbury, London.

Fr. Finan gave us great praise and also constructive criticism on areas of our studies he believed we could improve on. He was an extremely encouraging man, and saw the potential in all of us. He was a bubbly character, always having witty comebacks to our sometimes provocative comments. It was never too early for his intellectual humour as we looked at our watches in the morning he quickly responded with “catching a bus?” and showing us, at one time, mime included, how to correctly eat an ice-cream.

After the midterm of last year, we were saddened to hear that he had a serious form of motor neurone disease, which he would not recover from. We had Masses arranged for him in school as we were truly concerned about our beloved tutor. As the aggressive form of the disease took hold of Fr. Finan, his struggle ended on the 2nd of February 2014. We feel honoured to have been his last tutor class and would like to believe, as many others were sure, that we were his favourite class. We enjoyed every moment we had with Fr. Finan.

We will miss you Fr. Finan, your wit and your inspirational caring and curious nature. Heaven’s gain is truly our loss.

Tilly Regan, Ann-Marie Coleman, Emma Kilkenny and CaoimheTowey (On behalf of 3P)