Veteran RTÉ journalist Tommie Gorman dies

Former RTÉ journalist Tommie Gorman has died at the age of 68.

Mr Gorman worked at the broadcaster for more than 40 years and retired from RTÉ in April 2021.

At the time of his retirement, Mr Gorman was RTÉ News's northern editor.

In a statement, Mr Gorman's family said he died on Tuesday surrounded by his family.

"Tommie was a cherished husband, father, brother, and friend whose innate kindness and generosity of spirit touched the lives of all who knew him.

"His memory will forever remain in our hearts, and his spirit will continue to guide and inspire us every day."

RTÉ's director general Kevin Bakhurst said he had met Mr Gorman on Monday evening ahead of a planned surgery later this week and that he was in "good form and optimistic".

He described Mr Gorman as not only a great friend and colleague, but "a journalist of outstanding pedigree, integrity and incredible tenacity".

As the broadcaster's northern editor, he "was the voice of an era as that era itself transformed from violence to peace", Mr Bakhurst added.

"Tommie guided us through the intricacies with colour, command and panache.

"He was a storyteller journalist like no other."

'Irish people trusted Tommie'

Irish President Michael D Higgins said Mr Gorman was "one of the outstanding public service broadcasters of his generation".

"In a career renowned for being the first on the spot with key developments, Tommie will of course always be remembered for his interview with Roy Keane following his departure from Saipan and going to Greece to interview Seamus Heaney following the announcement that he was to receive the Nobel Prize," he said.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Simon Harris said he was profoundly shocked and saddened at Mr Gorman's death.

"Tommie was a journalist of enormous standing who carried out his job and duty to report fairly and accurately with the utmost professionalism," he said.

"In a world of instant and rolling news, Tommie Gorman was invited into people's homes night after night to give fair, impartial and in-depth analysis of one of the most precious things on our island - our peace process.

"To say he took this responsibility seriously is an understatement and as a result the Irish people trusted Tommie. If Tommie Gorman said it, then it happened."

Journalist with RTÉ microphone
Tommie Gorman worked for the Irish broadcaster for more than 40 years [RTÉ ]

Deirdre McCarthy, RTÉ's news and current affairs managing director, said Mr Gorman was a "giant in Irish journalism" and an integral part of the broadcaster's news output for more than 40 years.

"His talent and tenacity as a journalist saw him cover a vast range of stories during his career.

"He was trusted by many to share their stories, from Roy Keane to senior Northern Ireland political figures, his energy and professionalism were always highly regarded."

'A titan of a journalist'

Northern Ireland's First Minister Michelle O'Neill said she was “deeply saddened” by Mr Gorman’s death.

“An award-winning journalist over many decades, he was invested both professionally and personally in our peace process and in reconciling everyone who shares this island,” the Sinn Féin deputy leader said.

She added: “Today, we have lost a fantastic journalist and a good friend, and his family has lost a loving husband and devoted father."

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Gavin Robinson said Mr Gorman had been “a titan of a journalist” who “built relationships with everyone he met”.

“His ability and personality throughout 41 years with RTÉ cemented him as a rare, unique and unsurpassed professional,” Mr Robinson said.

The DUP leader said he hoped the Gorman family “might find some comfort from the affection and respect in which Tommie was held by many, many people”.