Sunday 11 December 2016

Downey an unrivalled observer of Irish life

Published 22/04/2016 | 02:30

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."

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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.

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