Saturday 21 January 2017

Fahy heads into the west after almost 40 years on air

Brian McDonald

Published 31/12/2011 | 05:00

ONE of the country's most recognisable broadcasters will bow out from the nation's airwaves today.

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RTE western editor Jim Fahy will hang up his microphone as he heads into retirement following a career spanning almost half a century in journalism.

He is the third high-profile RTE journalist to bow out this month. He joins Michael Ryan and Anne Doyle at the exit door of the state broadcaster.

"I never wanted to know what tomorrow would bring. That was the joy of being privileged to do the job that people like us do," he said yesterday.

A native of Kilreekil in east Galway, he began his professional life as a trainee reporter with the 'Tuam Herald' newspaper in 1965 and was appointed RTE western correspondent in 1974. He became western editor in 2008.

Manhunt

He covered the major news stories of the last 40 years for both radio and television. He reported on the manhunt and arrest of notorious killers John Shaw and Geoffrey Evans in 1976; the remarkable achievement of the late Mgr James Horan in having an airport built at Knock, Co Mayo, in 1986; and the dramatic story of Bishop Eamon Casey's departure from Galway in 1992 when it emerged he had fathered a child with American Annie Murphy.

He was also among the first Irish journalists in New York to cover the events of 9/11.

Later, he set about compiling the award-winning documentary 'Stories from the Twin Towers'.

It captured the gold world medal for the best 9/11 documentary at the 45th New York Festivals Television Programming Awards 2002.

While Mr Fahy is best known on our screens for his reporting of news stories from the west, he has also collected more than 40 international awards for his TV documentaries.

But as he prepared to step away from the camera yesterday, he revealed that the highlight of his professional career was compiling more than 400 programmes for RTE radio for the hugely popular 'Looking West' series between 1977 and 1984.

"I was given the opportunity to delve into the social history of the west of Ireland and was allowed into people's lives in a very intimate way," he said.

The series is being archived by RTE and is expected to be available online next year.

Irish Independent

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