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Statement by President Higgins on the death of Gay Byrne

Date: Mon 4th Nov, 2019 | 15:04

“It is with deep sadness I have learned of the death of legendary broadcaster, Gay Byrne.

Having begun his career in broadcasting with Radio Éireann in 1958, he retained a love of radio as a medium. With the arrival of television he went on to become one of the most recognisable faces of Irish broadcasting, hosting one of the world’s longest running chat shows - The Late Late Show.

A man of great charisma, Gay Byrne was someone who exuded warmth and presence, who was possessed of effortless wit, charm and who had a flair for broadcasting.  This was combined with an innate gentleness as a person, professionalism and humour.

Through his work in radio and on television he challenged Irish society, and shone a light not only on the bright but also the dark sides of Irish life. In doing so, he became one of the most familiar and distinctive voices of our times, helping shape our conscience, our self-image, and our idea of who we might be.   Beyond compassion, which he had in abundance, he had a sense of what was just.

Sabina and I wish to express our deepest sympathy to his wife Kathleen, his daughters Suzy and Crona, his grandchildren, and all his friends and colleagues.”