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RTE current affairs legend Brian dies aged 85

TRIBUTES have been paid to legendary RTE broadcaster Brian Farrell who has passed away at the age of 85.

Mr Farrell presented a number of news and current affairs programmes including much of the national broadcaster's election coverage throughout his near 50-year career.

Leading the tributes, RTE director general Noel Curran said it was a privilege to have known him.

"He was also a fantastic colleague. Wise, witty, supportive but also not afraid to challenge, he was a hugely positive presence on the Current Affairs team. I consider it a privilege to have worked with him. Our thoughts are with his family," he said.

Others who paid tribute this morning included John Bowman, Ray McSharry and Dr Maurice Manning.

Mr Farrell was born in 1929 and educated first at UCD and then at Harvard in the United States. He was later appointed an associate professor in Government and Political Science in UCD.

Known for his smart dress, which included an ever-present bow-tie, his broadcasting career began in radio in 1957. He would go on to become the face and voice of RTE's news coverage and was at the helm from the beginning of the station's programming in the early 1960s.

Some of the programmes he worked on included Broadsheet, Newsbeat, 7 Days, The Political Programme, Today Tonight and Prime Time.

In his work as a an academic, he produced many works including Chairman or Chief (1971), The Founding of Dail √Čireann (1971) and Child Poverty in Ireland (2000).

He was also appointed director-general of the Institute for European Affairs, while in 1998 he was appointed chairman of the Arts Council.

He also contributed to the Irish Independent and the Irish Press.