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President's tribute to 'outstanding, incisive' Farrell

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Brian Farrell, RTE presenter who has died

Brian Farrell, RTE presenter who has died

Brian Farrell, RTE presenter who has died

tributes have been paid to the late broadcaster Brian Farrell who died yesterday.

The former RTE presenter set the standard for other political commentators to follow, President Michael D Higgins said after learning of his death.

The President said he was saddened to hear of the passing of Brian Farrell and expressed sympathy to the broadcasting legend's wife Marie-Therese and their seven children.

Mr Farrell, who was 85, was the leading presenter for RTE's political television programmes for 40 years.

"Brian Farrell was an outstanding broadcaster and political commentator and in so many ways he set the standard for others to follow," the President said.

"His deep knowledge of current affairs and the wider political landscape, combined with his incisive questioning, contributed to his immense success and his holding of such respect as a broadcaster.

"Brian will also be remembered by his colleagues in Political Science as a pioneering lecturer in UCD, a committed University teacher, and for his significant contribution as an author. He will be missed by all, but particularly by those of us who knew him as a friend."

Tanaiste and Labour Leader Joan Burton said, "Brian was a pioneering political broadcaster, who carved out a distinguished career across several decades as the distinctive voice of Irish political journalism.

"Brian was able to translate the complex affairs of politics into something that the ordinary man on the street could understand. As an anchor and an interviewer, he brought politics to life and made it interesting and relevant for viewers.

formidable

"His sharp and incisive mind, allied to his deep knowledge of Irish politics, made him a formidable interviewer for countless politicians to have to face," she said.

Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin said Farrell revolutionised political coverage in Ireland in the television age.

"Whether as a presenter for 7 Days, Today Tonight, or Prime Time or the nine general elections he covered he was a central figure. His presentation of current affairs acted as a catalyst for attracting the interest of many young people to politics," he said.

An RTE statement declared Mr Farrell provided live commentary on RTE's coverage of public events including State visits, presidential inaugurations and funerals, and a variety of ceremonial occasions over a number of decades.

Noel Curran, Director General of RTÉ, said: "Brian Farrell was one of the most respected and talented current affairs presenters ever to appear on RTÉ.

The Institute of International and European Affairs will be closed on Friday as a mark of respect for Mr Farrell, its first Director General.

hnews@herald.ie


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