RTE broadcaster Marian Finucane dies aged 69

By Rebecca Black, PA

Ireland’s premier has led a host of tributes to broadcaster Marian Finucane who has died aged 69.

Leo Varadkar said he was stunned and deeply saddened to hear of the presenter’s death, describing her as a “true broadcasting legend”.

RTE announced on Thursday that Ms Finucane had died suddenly at her home in Dublin.

Mr Varadkar said Ireland would miss hearing Ms Finucane’s voice.

“Weekend mornings will never be quite the same again,” he said.

“I spent many hours in the studio with Marian. She was thorough, courteous and professional. I’m very sad to think that we won’t hear her voice again on the radio.

“The deepest sympathies of the Irish government to her family, friends and colleagues.”

Irish Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan also paid tribute to Ms Finucane.

“We have lost another of our most cherished broadcasters,” she said.

“Marian was a strong, inspirational and always thought-provoking journalist.”

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said he was saddened by news of Ms Finucane’s death, and spoke of her “immense courtesy and professionalism as a broadcaster”.

A woman signs a book of condolence at RTE’s Radio Centre in Donnybrook, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

RTE director general Dee Forbes said staff at the Irish state broadcaster learned of Ms Finucane’s passing with “profound shock and sadness”.

“Marian was a broadcaster of immense capability; a household name, she was first and foremost a tenacious journalist with a zeal for breaking new ground,” she said.

“From Women Today to Liveline to her weekday radio show on Radio 1 and, latterly, her enormously popular Saturday and Sunday radio programme, she tackled the big social issues of the day with command and insight.

“Multi-skilled, she forged a distinguished career on television, as well as undertaking significant charity work in Africa.

“Ireland has lost a unique voice. RTE has lost a beloved colleague.

“My sincere and heartfelt sympathies to her husband John and son Jack.”

Ms Finucane started her career with RTE in the 1970s after having originally qualified as an architect.

She became a household name through her Liveline programme on RTE radio.

Most recently, she presented the early morning radio slot, The Marian Finucane Show.