Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Wonderful appreciation of my Dad


Finbar Costello, who died on October 31st, 2012, is deeply mourned not only by his family but by the numerous friends who considered him an important part of their lives. He was born on October 3rd, 1939, the son of the legendary Lieut Gen Michael Joseph Costello.

Following his education at Clongowes Wood College (of which he was later to become president of the union) he graduated from UCD with a commerce degree and went on to a successful career in advertising. In due course he became managing director of Irish International Advertising and held various other directorships. However it was his life more generally that left an indelible impression on so many.

Through the long and debilitating illnesses that were to dog his last 10 years he demonstrated the attributes that truly defined him as a remarkable man. His indomitable courage in the face of constantly recurring health crises was always combined with an optimism and an engagement with and love of life. It is no commonplace observation to say that he was truly a person whose identity was steeped in the values in which he profoundly believed. These included in particular great integrity and loyalty to his friends and country.

He was a man for all seasons and he read voraciously on a wide range of subjects. On any aspect of current events he invariably had an objective point of view that he never hesitated in expressing in pungent terms, even if he was swimming against the tide of popular sentiment of which he disapproved.

His institutional loyalties were deep and constant to his school and above all to UCD rugby club. There can have been no greater alickadoo in any club in the country than Finbar. He devoted countless hours, year after year, to developing UCD RFC and, more importantly, the young men who were members of it. He played for, was honorary secretary, honorary treasurer and trustee and, ultimately, president of the club in 1980, but no formal description of these roles adequately describes his engagement. He was the very soul of the club and his personal mentoring and support of the students who passed through may have had a greater influence on many of them than almost any other aspect of college life.

In 2005 he received from the National University of Ireland an honorary doctorate for his work with UCD Rugby Club which was a unique and richly deserved accolade.

Finbar married Jo in 1965. During the difficult years of illness she dedicated her life selflessly to helping him and throughout was an indispensable support and much more. Their relationship and that with his sons Barry and Gavin, was by far the most important element for him in a life that was truly fulfilled.