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  • Northside East

An unsung hero is laid to rest 

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019 1:00pm
An unsung hero is laid to rest 

The late Brendan O’Connor.

An unsung hero is laid to rest 

The late Brendan O’Connor.

ON the beautiful spring morning of Friday March 1 Brendan O'Connor, late of Drumcondra, was laid to rest. 

Brendan was the force behind many causes. He tirelessly campaigned to better the lives of others, and fundraised for at least 10 charities. However, his main legacy would be the founding of the CARI Foundation. 

Children at Risk in Ireland (CARI) was Brendan’s brainchild. Back in the mid 1980s the subject of child abuse was becoming a major issue in our society, partly because the ISPCC had launched its Childline service. 

Brendan became very aware that there was no adequate centre to treat the young victims of these abuses. Researching the needs of the children he was supported by doctors at the Rotunda Hospital. He gathered the support of many in the business and corporate sector, and Children At Risk In Ireland was launched. 

Brendan was an extremely charismatic and persuasive individual, which may be why the Construction Industry Federation agreed to give a property to CARI - they did, and in 1989 the first CARI Centre was opened in Dublin. It is celebrating its 30-year anniversary this year.

Some may remember Brendan from another venture which he instigated. 'Golden Pages Showtime ' was an annual entertainment festival during the 1980s which raised thousands for many charities and involved hundreds of participants from musical and variety groups across Dublin city. 

Beneficiaries included the Children’s Hospital, The Irish Cancer Society and The Irish Society for Spina Bifida. 

Brendan was a gifted musician with a background in the entertainment scene. ‘Showtime’ was probably the first festival of this type to be used as a charity fundraising platform.

Brendan was a person of huge courage and determination. He did not fight causes or set up charities with the aid of committees. He was a maverick. He did it through his own willpower.

He will never be forgotten by the great many people whose lives he touched, especially his family, friends, and those from his days in Eircom, and neighbours in Drumcondra. 

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