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John Boland's week in TV: This true journalist was missed during election weekend


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‘Wonderful’: Keelin Shanley. Photo: Steve Humphreys

‘Wonderful’: Keelin Shanley. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Tribute: Keelin Shanley had a real sense of authority and gravitas

Tribute: Keelin Shanley had a real sense of authority and gravitas

DRIVEN AND COMMITTED: Keelin Shanley with fellow RTE ‘Six One News’ presenter Caitriona Perry

DRIVEN AND COMMITTED: Keelin Shanley with fellow RTE ‘Six One News’ presenter Caitriona Perry

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‘Wonderful’: Keelin Shanley. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Throughout last weekend's General Election coverage, I kept thinking of Keelin Shanley and of the distinctively unfussy and incisive contribution she would have brought to RTÉ's coverage of this momentous occasion.

But it was not to be and the news of her passing last Saturday cast a pall over coverage of the proceedings. There have been other and more high-profile RTÉ deaths in recent months, but the demise of a woman in her broadcasting prime was especially wrenching.

I didn't know her well but she was a near neighbour and in the last couple of years I frequently encountered her in our local restaurant, where she and her family often went after her day's work was over. I liked her a lot and admired her even more, and I was thrilled when she became co-anchor on the Six One news, to which she brought a real sense of authority and gravitas, alongside a true journalist's engagement with breaking stories and a kindly concern for those affected by many of these stories. She'll be greatly missed.