Liam Clarke hailed a 'giant of journalism' following sudden death
DUP leader and First Minister-in-waiting Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have paid their respects to the Belfast Telegraph's Political editor, Liam Clarke, following his sudden death.
The journalist passed away last night.
His wife, Kathryn said on Facebook: "I am very sorry to say that Liam Clarke died very suddenly but peacefully last night."
Mr Clarke joined the Belfast Telegraph as political editor in 2011.
Previously he had worked at the Sunday Times as its Northern Ireland editor for 20 years before becoming a columnist for the paper.
In 2014 he was named CIPR journalist of the year.
Tributes have been paid to Mr Clarke across social media.
Liam had been battling a rare form of cancer and wrote about his battle with the illness in this newspaper.
The National Union of Journalists, Irish Secretary Seamus Dooley said: "I would like to extend sympathy to the family, colleagues and friends of Liam Clarke Political Editor, The Belfast Telegraph and a former officer of Belfast and district branch of the NUJ, who has died.
"Liam was a fearless journalist. He was never afraid to challenge authority and was always prepared to stand up for the principle of media freedom.
"In the Sunday Times and, more recently in the Belfast Telegraph he covered some of the most significant events in the history of Northern Ireland
"As a columnist he was insightful, authoritative and, at times provocative. He commanded respect across the political divide and his death is a loss to journalism in Northern Ireland."
I'm sorry to hear Liam Clarke has died,my sympathy & condolences to his family.— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) December 27, 2015
Sorry to hear of Liam Clarke's death. He helped me get my first proper journalism experience. Thoughts with his family x— Maria McCann (@journomaria) December 27, 2015
So sorry to hear that Liam Clarke has passed away. Thoughts are with his family and friends— Karen Smyth (@KSmyth2010) December 27, 2015
So sorry to hear Liam Clarke has passed away. A truly great journalist - fair, insightful & fiercely independent. A gentleman.— Tracey Magee (@Tracey_utv) December 27, 2015
Liam Clarke was a gentleman. Always a pleasure to meet, to interview and to read. Journalism in NI is a good deal poorer today.— Declan Lawn (@DecLawn) December 27, 2015