Bernard Flanagan, a longtime leader in the Irish community, died last Saturday in Buffalo General Hospital after a long illness. He was 79.
Mr. Flanagan, who was nicknamed "Barney," was born in Ballymoe, County Galway, Ireland, and later worked in England, the Channel Islands and Scotland before arriving in South Buffalo in 1953. He later lived in Hamburg for 42 years.
He was a crane and heavy-equipment operator, and a member of Operating Engineers Local 17 until his retirement in 1985. Buildings he worked on included Buffalo General Hospital and the HSBC Building.
Mr. Flanagan was a founding member of the Buffalo Irish Center and of Irish Northern Aid, a longtime member of the Gaelic Athletic Association and an advocate for Sinn Fein.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, the former Eileen McCarthy of Hamburg; four daughters, Kathleen Ballard of Amherst, Patricia Pienta of Mount Vernon, Wash., and Maureen Schichtel and Margaret Reagan, both of Hamburg; six sons, Timothy, James, Diarmuid, and Denis, all of Hamburg, Kevin of Syracuse, and Brendan of Buffalo; a sister, Kathleen Kerlan of England; a brother, Mick of England; 13 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Wednesday in St. Mary's of the Lake Church, Hamburg. Burial was in Lakeside Cemetery, Hamburg.