The President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins has led tributes to former Concern (US) chairman Tom Moran, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 65.
Tom Moran in New York. Photo: Kieran McConville
A humanitarian and philanthropis
Mr Moran became involved in Concern Worldwide after a meeting with Fr Aengus Finucane, in New York, who was at the time laying the groundwork for the US base of Concern. Sharing a strong mutual humanitarian bond, the two men developed a deep friendship and for over two decades.
From 2001 to 2017, Tom Moran chaired the board of Concern US and also served on the board of Concern Worldwide in Ireland. His passion for humanitarianism and helping others was only matched by his love for Ireland and in 2015 he was presented with the prestigious Irish Presidential Distinguished Services Award, which recognises: ‘those who have served Ireland with distinction and actively contributed to the country in a sustained manner.’
During his time with Concern Worldwide, he traveled to Afghanistan, Haiti, Rwanda and Sudan.
Born and raised in New York, Mr Moran has also been credited as a major player in the Northern Irish Peace Process, due to his role as an unofficial envoy.
He also worked as chair, CEO and President of Mutuals of America, where he met his wife Joan, who he married in 1983.
In a statement today, President Michael D. Higgins called Mr Moran "a leader of the Irish community in America who will be greatly missed."
"In 2015, I presented Tom with a Presidential Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of his work for Ireland, on this island and in the US, supporting peace, but also supporting education and opportunity."
Tom’s championing of the underdog was evident in everything that he did: as Chair of @concern US, he was relentless, and passionate, in supporting the mission for more than twenty years.— Richard Dixon (@rjjd) August 12, 2018
A huge loss to his family, his friends and the Irish community in the US. https://t.co/vXL0VYtyP1
Tánaiste Simon Coveney expressed his sadness at the news of Tom's death, which followed a short illness.
"Tom made a very significant positive impact on Irish American relations, in particular supporting peace in Northern Ireland," the Tánaiste said.
I learned with sadness today of the death of Tom Moran in New York. Tom made a very significant positive impact on Irish American relations, in particular supporting peace in Northern Ireland.— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) August 12, 2018
My sincere condolences to his wife, Joan, and to his wider family and friends.
CEO of Concern Worldwide Dominic MacSorley paid tribute to Mr Moran's tireless humanitarian efforts.
"We are deeply saddened with the news of Tom Moran’s passing and our thoughts are very much with his wife Joan. Tom was a giant of a man, an unstoppable force for good," Mr MacSorley said.
“It is impossible to quantify his contribution to Concern, but without doubt his leadership and extraordinary generosity saved countless lives and transformed the hopes and futures of many more.
“Tom insisted, with a singular purpose on walking the walk, travelling to the least well-served parts of the world, regardless of how remote or insecure. He was determined to remind those in greatest need that they had not and would not be forgotten. His legacy will live on in our hearts and the millions of people across the world that are living a safe, secure and hope-filled life.”
Concern Worldwide's chairperson John Treacy paid tribute to Mr Moran's generosity and philanthropic character.
"Tom was a tireless advocate and supporter of Concern. His generosity knew no bounds. As chair of the US board and an active member of the Irish board he brought the full force of his contacts and influence for the betterment of the worlds poorest."
'He gave himself'
During his induction into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2012, Founding Editor of Irish America Magazine Patricia Harty said:
"[Tom] was a man who didn't just give money, he gave of himself, and when he helped someone he made them feel that they were giving him a gift."
Mr Moran's funeral mass will take place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Friday, 17 August.
Thank you Tom, for your years of humanitarian service, which certainly helped make the world a better place.
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