Downey an unrivalled observer of Irish life
It has been said one's opinion of the world can also amount to a confession of one's character. This was certainly true for distinguished author and outstanding journalist James Downey, who has died. From the 1950s Jim honed his craft to become a master wordsmith in Irish journalism. As President Higgins aptly said of this gentle Leitrim man: "He will be remembered as one of Ireland's most committed journalists and editors and as having made a lasting imprint on journalism through his deep knowledge of the world of news and public affairs."
His opinions helped electrify and define debate in these very columns for more than two decades.
Erudite, self-effacing and always affable, he forged an unrivalled reputation as a commentator and searing observer of Irish life.