Tuesday 19 September 2017

Tributes paid after death of reporter Farrell

Mark Hilliard

KEVIN Farrell, the veteran Irish journalist who died of cancer yesterday, has been described as a classic old-style reporter who "loved news for the sake of news".

The 63-year-old, who worked in both provincial and national titles over a 35-year career, passed away in the company of his family at his home in Edenderry, Co Offaly.

In the world of print media, Mr Farrell was regarded as the consummate professional who broke numerous stories.

During his preceding years as a music act promoter, he even gave Eurovision singer Johnny Logan his first gig.

His memoir on the newspaper business, 'It's All News To Me', was published last year.

During his career, Mr Farrell worked for the 'Irish Daily Star', the 'Sunday World' and beforehand at the 'Leinster' and 'Offaly Express' titles.

"He loved news and right up to the very end he was texting us here with stories," said 'Star' editor Michael O'Kane.

"He was extremely well liked by his colleagues and everyone is very sad at his untimely death.

"He was the classic, old-style news journalist who loved news for the sake of news," he added.

Joining the 'Star' in the late 1990s, Mr Farrell broke a number of stories including the discovery of 'Surgical Ali' in Ireland, the medical son of the infamous Saddam Hussein spokesman 'Comical Ali'.

He also found a missing Westmeath schoolgirl in the middle of a major search operation after she ran out in front of his car.

Mr Farrell had undergone a liver transplant about three years ago before succumbing to cancer more recently.

During his career he also spent a number of years at the now defunct 'Offaly Express', which publishes its final edition today.

Its editor Alan Walsh, who worked closely with Mr Farrell, explained that they just had enough time to insert a small tribute piece to their late colleague.

"He was a great man to get behind the headline and dig deep for the story," he said.

Irish Independent correspondent Eimear Ni Bhraonain said: "In the midlands he was really well liked and respected. He lived his life and his work as if they were all rolled up in a ball. He wouldn't just write a report, he would come up with a proper story that no one else would have."

Mr Farrell is survived by his wife Eileen and his children Kevin, David and Sinead.

He will be laid to rest tomorrow following noon Mass at St Mary's Church, Edenderry.

Irish Independent

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