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Thursday 23 November 2017

Love him or loathe him, political pundit Vincent was a champion of the truth

Vincent Browne
Vincent Browne

Word is that Vincent Browne, the host of TV3's late-night political programme Tonight With Vincent Browne, is to retire at the end of this month.

Browne is a much-respected journalist who writes for the Times and Sunday Business Post. He is also the owner, for a second time, of Magill magazine.

However, it is as host of the TV3 show, which he has headed since 2007, that he is best known.

Love him or loathe him, his brash and aggressive tone endeared him to legions and infuriated just as many more.

He made guests squirm with unease with his gruelling and grinding interrogation methods.

He took no prisoners. There was no escape from his relentless probing questions. While often his gruff and dismissive manner annoyed certain guests, he was a master of the sarcastic barb.

Honest

However, he was always fair and brutally honest and was not always polite with his guests.

Browne has always been a ruthless and relentless seeker of the truth. His show shone a bright light on the dark underbelly of Irish social and political life.

However, behind that exterior he is at heart a kind human being.

About a year ago, one of his researchers contacted me to ask if I would appear on his show.

I declined the offer, saying I had a bout of flu - which wasn't exactly the full truth. The following day I got a text from Vincent wishing me a speedy recovery. I thought it was a nice gesture.

The news that he is retiring from broadcasting will be greeted with dismay by many devoted followers. He will be remembered as a champion of the truth and the sacrosanct right of the people to know it.

Corrupt politicians, businessmen and their entire ilk will sleep better in their beds when Vincent has left the stage.

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