Saturday 15 December 2018

'A superb journalist': Former INM news editor dies

Retired INM journalist Pádraig Beirne, who has died, aged 76. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Retired INM journalist Pádraig Beirne, who has died, aged 76. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Dean Gray

Veteran journalist Pádraig Beirne has died following a lengthy illness.

Aged 76, he had been a pivotal editorial figure with Independent Newspapers for over 40 years. Pádraig was primarily associated with the 'Evening Herald', where he served as reporter, deputy News Editor and News Editor, before being appointed to the key role of Group Photographic Editor.

He covered major national and international news stories, including the Tuskar Rock air crash in 1968, the papal visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979 and the Stardust tragedy in February, 1981.

He also reported for the Independent group from Belfast and Derry during the early years of the Troubles.

A native of Boyle, Co Roscommon, he began his career with the 'Roscommon Champion' before spells with the 'Southern Star', 'Leinster Express', and the 'Leinster Leader'.

Former Managing Editor with Independent News and Media Michael Denieffe paid tribute to his former colleague: "Padraig Beirne was a superb journalist - sharp, accurate and balanced. He was of the old school of print journalism, with a superb shorthand note, quick-fire turnaround and delivery of stories, and fine writing style.

"As a reporter, he was fiercely competitive. As a news executive, he revelled in the daily pre-online battle of attrition for street sales, especially against the 'Evening Press'. He could be a fierce but always fair taskmaster. A valued friend.

"Deepest sympathies to his wife Ida, son Mark and daughters Sheragh and Alison and grandchildren."

Irish Independent

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