Irish-American philanthropist Charles Francis ‘Chuck’ Feeney has sadly passed away at the age of 92. Throughout his remarkable career, Feeney donated over $8 billion (€7.56 billion) to various causes worldwide, including more than €1.8 billion to projects and initiatives in Ireland. His philanthropic organization, Atlantic Philanthropies, which was established in 1982, provided significant grants to numerous institutions in Ireland.
Feeney’s contributions to Ireland include $181.5 million to the University of Limerick Foundation, $162.1 million to the Trinity Foundation, $128.2 million to the Dublin City University Education Trust, $91.2 million to the Cork University Foundation, and $79.5 million to the Galway University Foundation. He also donated $15.6 million to children’s charity Barnardos and $10.4 million to the Irish Hospice Foundation.
Atlantic Philanthropies confirmed the news of Feeney’s passing, stating that he died at his home in San Francisco. Christopher Oechsli, the president and CEO of Atlantic Philanthropies, praised Feeney’s dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of others. He emphasized that Feeney cared more about effectiveness and impact than accumulating wealth or receiving accolades.
Feeney’s extraordinary legacy was recognized by many, including Professor Kerstin Mey, the president of the University of Limerick. Prof Mey expressed sorrow at the loss of a truly giving man and extended her sympathies to Feeney’s family. She highlighted the transformative impact of Feeney’s donations to the university, stating that without his generosity, the campus, which now accommodates over 18,000 students and 2,000 staff, would not have been possible.
Feeney played a pivotal role in the establishment of the University of Limerick Foundation in 1989 and was a long-time member. In recognition of his “giving while living” philosophy, the main thoroughfare through the university campus was named ‘Feeney Way’ earlier this year. Prof Mey explained that the dedication was a way to express gratitude for Feeney’s contributions to UL, the region, and Ireland, and to honor the philanthropist’s commitment to making a difference during his lifetime.