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Statement by President Michael D. Higgins on the death of Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí

Date: Tue 19th Sep, 2023 | 23:41

“It is with great sadness that I’ve learned of the death of broadcaster Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí from Gaoth Dobhair in the Donegal Gaeltacht, aged 53 years.

Rónán was particularly popular and highly respected amongst the Gaeltacht and Irish-speaking communities throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. Although primarily associated with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta he was also a versatile broadcaster on television and presented various programmes on RTÉ and TG4 over the years.

Liveliness and exuberance were the hallmarks of his broadcasting style which was recognised with many awards.

He had a particular interest in identifying new musical talent and nurturing new bands and solo performers. He established various musical festivals and events including An Cabaret Craiceáilte and loved being centre stage to present the liveliest of public events.

He had an additional skill – the ability to conduct measured interviews on sensitive subjects with vulnerable people.

He was always welcome where Irish-speakers met, from Tory Island to West Belfast, at the annual Oireachtas festival or other such events.

He was simply a hero amongst the Irish-speaking community.

A sign of the respect in which he was held was the public donation of over €170,000 to support him in new cancer drug trials in Spain and America over the past year. But it was not to be. May he rest in peace.

Sabina and I would like to extend our sympathy to Rónán’s wife Bernie, their daughter Fionnuala, his brothers and sisters, his friends and colleagues and that community which was so dear to his heart.”