Aengus Fanning produced the most compelling cocktail of news ever served up by any Irish newspaper editor. He floored the competition over twenty years. Competitors, foreign and national, came and went, but the Sunday Independent—Aengus’ unique publication– saw them off one by one.
…How did Aengus do it?
His strong character was part of the reason. He was brave to the point of bravado. He challenged all the accepted norms. More than 20 years ago he blazed a trail in his utter fearlessness in confronting all the undisturbed pillars of Irish life. Whether it was the Catholic church, Fianna Fail or the IRA. Aengus took the Sunday Independent into areas where others feared to tread. He had no time for the tyranny of modern political correctness. He regarded it as dull.
…The Sunday Independent was always an unpredictable place to work under Aengus. Famous for its rows, its strong characters and its ultra- colourful incidents, the atmosphere inside the hothouse was sensed by its readers. There was sometimes a whiff of sulphur about the product, reflecting the healthy conflict that was regularly behind the production of the week’s paper. It was invariably clear that huge bundles of energy had gone into a single article, often inspired by the editor’s anger at an injustice, or fury at a hypocrisy that was hindering commercial or social progress.
Aengus was often angry. He never courted popularity. He was volatile. Harsh words were sometimes spoken. I had many rows with him, often expecting the subsequent encounter to be awkward or to receive my P45. Quite the opposite happened . He had invariably forgotten the last verbal explosions . He simply regarded them as the last edition’s business. He moved from one week’s paper to the next with his eye solely focussed on the next week’s edition . We were all instruments in his life’s passion, the Sunday Independent.
Full Article Here: Aengus Fanning Floored The Competition Over 20 years (Shane Ross, Irish Independent)