Fanagans Funeral Directors, are celebrating a significant milestone of 200 years in business this year and marked this occasion with the launch of their book - Fanagans of Dublin: a 200-Year History - in City Hall, Dublin, on Thursday 25th April 2019, with guest speaker, John Bowman. Over 250 guests attended this celebration.
The book looks back over the past two centuries. It covers the heritage and tradition that make up Fanagans today and also gives an insight into how funerals and their associated customs have evolved during this period. The authors of the book, Charlie McCarthy, Alan Fanagan and John Fanagan, have included vivid and comprehensive images from the extensive Fanagan archive.
The business was founded by John Fanagan in 1819 and is now run by the fifth and sixth generations of the family. Fanagans has continued to thrive over the two centuries and now comprises 11 locations throughout Dublin.
The chosen venue, City Hall Dublin, has particular relevance. William Fanagan, great grandfather of current Managing Director, Jody Fanagan, was a city councillor between 1881 and his death in 1905. The Dublin funeral of Charles Stewart Parnell was arranged by Councillor Fanagan and the body was received by the city councillors at City Hall before his burial at Glasnevin Cemetery.
They have looked after several high-profile funerals over the years including, Sean Lemass (1971), President Erskine Childers (1974) Lord Louis Mountbatten (1979), Phil Lynott (1986), Sean McBride(1988), Dr. Gareth FitzGerald (2011), Albert Reynolds (2014).
John Bowman, guest speaker at the launch, comments on the depth of this book: “The Irish in the nineteenth century had an obsessive preoccupation with death which was often noted by contemporary travellers: but the rituals associated with death have been relatively neglected by Irish historians since. The Fanagan story is a micro study of one family business. But the Fanagan archive is likely to prompt further historical research on the Irish way of death. How did funerals in Dublin differ from those in rural Ireland? What was the impact of class? And of religion? And why was the opening of Glasnevin Cemetery such a transforming moment in Dublin’s history?”
Jody Fanagan says: “This is very proud occasion for the entire Fanagan family. Personally, it is a fantastic honour for the current fifth and sixth generations of the company as we celebrate this milestone with the launch of our Book ‘Fanagans of Dublin – a 200-Year History’. Our family ethos, which has been passed down through the generations, is to provide an exceptional service to every client family in the most professional and dignified manner. Our mission is to pass this legacy on to future generations of the family”.