Tuesday 15 October 2019

Tributes as pioneering Independent journalist Lorna Reid dies

Lorna Reid started her newspaper career in 1969
Lorna Reid started her newspaper career in 1969
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Lorna Reid, a stalwart of Irish journalism, has died at the age of 67.

The native of Tralee, Co Kerry, passed away in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, on Friday night with her devoted husband, Ciaran Kennedy, by her side. She had taken ill at her home in Mount Merrion, Dublin, last weekend.

Lorna joined Independent Newspapers as a teenager in August 1969, when female news reporters were an extremely rare breed, and spent almost 42 years with the company before her retirement in 2011, carving out a stellar reputation for fast, accurate and well-rounded reporting.

She combined an eye for detail and a talent for identifying the heart of a story with razor-sharp writing skills. Whether making sense of a Dail debate, a long day's proceedings at a tribunal, a difficult court case, a voluminous report where the devil was well hidden in the detail or a breaking news story, day in, day out, Lorna brought her expertise to every assignment.

Outside journalism, Lorna was a voracious reader, while her green fingers ensured that she maintained an outstanding garden.

Michael Denieffe, a former editor and managing editor at Independent Newspapers, said: "Lorna Reid was a superb journalist. She faultlessly epitomised standards of journalism which the modern multi-media publishing world desperately strives to match and maintain. Professional, diligent, accurate and fair, her career spanned a number of fields and included coverage of many of the country's major news events.

"Lorna was a veteran reporter of proceedings in the Dail and Seanad, the High Court, Central Criminal Court and District Court. She was also a former Consumer Affairs Correspondent for the Irish Independent. Outside of reporting of statutory affairs, Lorna had a deft writer's touch and her coverage of Gay Byrne's last Late, Late Show in May, 1999 for the Irish Independent was memorable.

"In person, Lorna was engaging, interesting and acutely observant. She had a wry sense of humour as evidenced by her recall of her first byline in the Irish Independent which read, 'Irish Independent Woman Reporter', which reflected the extreme scarcity of women in the ranks of journalists at the time. Lorna's subsequent career absolutely underlined the value of that appointment and resultant shift in attitudes."

Reposing tomorrow at her home from 5 to 7pm. Service on Tuesday at 4pm in St Philip and St James' Church, Booterstown, Dublin. Burial on Wednesday at 2pm in Ballyseedy Church of Ireland churchyard, Tralee. Enquiries to Carnegies' Funeral Home, Monkstown, Dublin, 01-2808882. May she rest in peace.

Sunday Independent

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