An author and Medjugorje expert has been remembered as an “amazing” and “fantastic individual” after his death following an extended illness.
Finbar O’Leary brought three charter flights each year from Cork to Medjugorje in the late 1980s and continued to bring large groups with Marian Pilgrimages in May and September from Cork after the civil war ended in 1994.
Tony Fields of Marian Pilgrimages said: “During the years of conflict, he drove a truck himself with food and provisions to the worn-torn regions in Bosnia. He also arranged doctors and medical staff to travel out during these years of conflict.
“On a number of occasions he brought Vicka, one of the visionaries, to Ireland and also wrote a number of books about Medjugorje. He is best known for his book titled Vicka, Her Story with Columba Books.”
The leader of the Medjugorje prayer group, who meet in the chapel of the Holy Trinity on Fr Matthew Quay in Cork, Angela Gowing, said the group was founded by Mr O’Leary in 1988 and has continued every Wednesday night “unbroken since then”.
She said: “He truly tried to live the message of Our Lady of Medjugorje and spent time studying the messages to discern the meaning of them. He would know many messages by heart and encouraged us all to get to know not just the messages, but what Our Lady was trying to do.
“His suffering is now at an end and many will miss him. He had made many friends not just in Medjugorje but all around the world.”