"Quiet, pipe-smoking, with an enigmatic smile and an unassuming manner" This is how his biographer, Doug Stokes, described Brendan 'Paddy' Finucane.

But, by the time Finucane was 21, this Dublin born and highly decorated WW2 RAF pilot, was the scourge of the German Air Force. He was the youngest Wing Commander in the RAF and a hero in the British Press.

For an RAF fighter pilot his background was not quite what you would expect. He was educated by the Christian Brothers, wore the silver Fainne (and had been an altar boy). Paddy's father fought along with Eamon de Valera in Boland's Mill during the 1916 rising.

Paddy was 16 when he emigrated with the family to England in 1936. He applied to join the RAF in April 1938 and was one of nine pilots listed as Irish, who fought in the Battle of Britain. He was very proud of his Irish background and flew with a large shamrock painted on the side of his Spitfire.

Not very much was publicly known about Paddy's early years in Ireland. So, his younger brother Kevin, agreed to come back to Dublin for this radio documentary and to tell ,for the first time, the story of his famous brothers early years in the city.

Over the following four days we took a fascinating look into what moulded this famous Irishman as we went, In Search of 'Paddy' Finucane.

Produced by Madelene O'Rourke

First broadcast 2004

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries