During his career as a reporter for the Boston Herald and other newspapers, Joe Heaney wrote about the Vietnam War, the troubles in Ireland, political scandals, and organized crime in Boston. But some nights, he drove through the city with Raymond L. Flynn, looking for homeless people who needed a lift to the Pine Street Inn shelter.
“Joe used to say the people we picked up were just down on their luck,” said Flynn, a former Boston mayor and US ambassador to the Vatican. “And he always said that he learned more about Boston and about being a good reporter from being out on the street on a cold winter night than he did from covering any type of event.”
After canvassing neighborhoods, Flynn said, he and Mr. Heaney usually headed to J.J. Foley’s pub in the South End for a beer.
“He was certainly a professional reporter,” he said. “He was also my dear friend, a very compassionate, sensitive guy who I considered one of the best human beings I ever met.”
The testifiers in the Herald’s Sunday two-gun salute to Heaney overwhelmingly agreed.
Rest in peace, Joe.
And good for the Globe, getting there so fast.