Tuesday 17 October 2017

Tributes to journalist who exposed 'Slab' Murphy

Liam Clarke. Photo: Jonathan Porter / Press Eye
Liam Clarke. Photo: Jonathan Porter / Press Eye
Former Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson gives his condolences to Liam Clarke's widow Cathy. Photo: Alan Lewis/Photopress

Steven Alexander

Mourners at the funeral service for journalist Liam Clarke have heard how he was more than just "a master with words".

The 'Belfast Telegraph' Political Editor had been suffering from a rare form of stomach cancer but continued to work right up until his peaceful death, on December 27.

Yesterday, friends and family - including wife Kathryn and children Adam, Daniel and Alice - gathered at Roselawn Crematorium near Belfast to pay their last respects. The father, husband, political journalist and Zen Buddhist was described by those who knew him as both fearless and fair.

He made his name by breaking scores of major stories, including revealing the vast wealth of south Armagh smuggler and senior republican Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, only recently convicted of tax evasion.

Born in Drogheda, his interest in politics came early. While a pupil at Omagh Academy, he and another pupil took the day off school to protest at the killing of civilians on Bloody Sunday.

Among the hundreds of mourners were First Minister Peter Robinson, Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, Lady Sylvia Hermon MP, and Labour shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker MP.

In his eulogy, Rev Earl Storey said: "Liam Clarke was a master with words. Yet his life and work speak more eloquently than any words even he could write. He was an enormously talented and decent human being."

Irish Independent

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