'Weekends won't be the same' as fans leave their condolences for legend

Broadcaster Marian Finucane died suddenly on Thursday. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Aoife Walsh

Devastated fans, colleagues, and friends yesterday said "weekends won't be the same" without Marian Finucane on the airwaves.

Fans who visited RTE's radio centre in Donnybrook to sign a book of condolences recalled some of her best broadcasting moments.


Listener Antoinette Hynes fondly remembered Ms Finucane's iconic 2008 interview with close friend and writer Nuala O'Faolain, who was dying of cancer.

The fan told the Herald: "Her interview with her friend, Nuala was the most incredible - show-stopping.

"It's hard to believe they didn't have any prep or anything, they just went for it.

Niamh McAllister signing the book

"She's just so brilliant as regards to getting to the root of the problem, but in a nice way. So compassionate. Weekends just won't be the same."

Irish fashion designer Helen Steele said she grew up listening to Ms Finucane on the radio.

"Marian Finucane was an incredible inspiration to so many women my age. We grew up with her on the radio," she told the Herald.

"She's very brave and incredibly honest, an intelligent journalist, who really, I thought, fought for the rights of women, and brought that to the media's attention. She was also incredible during the time of the peace process."

Ruth Barror signs the book. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Another listener, Ruth Barer, said: "I'm very shocked. I've admired her for many years not only as a great broadcaster, but I thought all her work in Africa was so inspirational.

"She had a low-key approach but she got things done."

RTE's director of content Jim Jennings said Ms Finuncane's passing is a "huge loss" to staff at the broadcaster.

"It's a huge loss for everyone here at RTE. Marian has been a stalwart, the mainstay of our schedules for decades.

"Coming off the back of Gay Byrne's bereavement, it's a huge loss to all the staff here who worked with her and knew her very well.

"It's a very sad time for her husband John, her son Jack and her family. It's also a very sad time for everyone who worked with her. Our thoughts are with her friends, her family and her colleagues."

The Marian Finucane Show will be presented by Rachael English this morning, and by Brendan O'Connor on Sunday.

The two-hour programme will feature tributes to Ms Finucane from friends and colleagues.