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Death of inspiring and iconic former editor Vinnie Doyle

ONE of Ireland’s journalistic icons, former Irish Independent and Herald editor Vinnie Doyle died today aged 72.

Vinnie was the outstanding newspaper editor of his generation, guiding both titles to new heights from 1977 until his retirement in 2005.

Following his death at the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin this morning, former colleagues described him as “a giant of Irish journalism” and an “inspiring Irish newspaperman”.

Vinnie once said that when the job was going well, it was like “drinking champagne all day long – the most satisfying job in the world”.

Group Chief Executive of Independent News and Media, Gavin O'Reilly today described Mr Doyle as a “stalwart of Irish journalism”.

“We have lost a truly great editor,” Mr O'Reilly said. “He enlivened both the Herald and the Independent, making them the top sellers they are today.

“My deepest condolences go to his wife and best friend Gertie and sons Garret, Conor and Vincent.”

Taoiseach Brian Cowen described Mr Doyle as “a legendary figure in Irish media, someone whose traditional commitment to news gathering won him the respect of his peers in journalism and beyond. “Vinnie Doyle believed in getting the story, and in getting it right.”

Chief Executive of Independent Newspapers Ireland Joe Webb said: “We are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Vinnie. He committed himself totally to the cause of the Irish Independent over the 25 years he served as Editor.

“Under his astute stewardship, the Irish Independent scaled new heights, becoming the national voice that is now.

“His will always be viewed an extremely successful tenure as Editor. Our thoughts today are with his family at this very sad time,” he added.

Paying tribute, Herald editor Stephen Rae said: “Vinnie was a giant of Irish journalism; a truly iconic figure.

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“He inspired a streak of fearlessness amongst a generation of journalists which has cultivated a strength in depth in our democracy. Vinnie will be truly mourned as a journalistic great.”

Irish Independent editor Gerry O'Regan said: “Vinnie Doyle was the most inspiring Irish newspaperman of his age. He combined great flair with an unremitting work ethic.”

Independent Newspapers group managing editor, Michael Denieffe said: “Vinnie always led from the front. He also had a great sense of a news story.

“In many ways Vinnie was ahead of his time.”

A native of Glasnevin, his illustrious career began at the Irish Press in 1958. In 1964, he began working for the Herald before being appointed editor in 1977, becoming Irish Independent editor in 1981.

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