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RTÉ broadcaster Keelin Shanley has died following an illness

She died at home this afternoon following an illness. She was 51.

Image: Steve Langan/RTÉ

JOURNALIST AND BROADCASTER Keelin Shanley has died at the age of 51.

RTÉ announced her untimely death following an illness today. She passed away this afternoon at home in Dublin. 

Shanley has been a stalwart of RTÉ news coverage since she joined the broadcaster, with stints on the stations’ pillars Prime Time and Morning Ireland. She also presented her own television show Morning Edition for two years before returning to radio, and eventually taking over as co-anchor on the Six One news on RTÉ One. 

Always seen as one of the most talented broadcasters on the books, she was often asked to fill in for Seán O’Rourke on his daily radio show. Other credits to her name include The Consumer Show, the documentary Hacked and the Late Debate. 

She is mourned by her husband Conor Ferguson and son and daughter, Ben and Lucy. 

Keelin grew up in Monkstown, Co Dublin and studied Science in Trinity College, moving to Bologna to continue her research. However, she soon moved into journalism. 

On top of her career with RTÉ, she worked with CNN World Report and Radio France International.  

keelin-shanley-has-died In January 2018, Keelin took up her role as a new presenter of the flagship RTÉ Six One News alongside Caitriona Perry. Source: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

Managing Director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs Jon Williams paid tribute to Keelin saying she was “the best of us- and we are heartbroken”. 

“From Prime Time Investigates to Morning Edition, Morning Ireland to the Six One News, there wasn’t a corner of RTÉ News & Current Affairs untouched by Keelin’s fearless, generous, and passionate journalism.

For Keelin, the story was never about her – always about others. Her legacy of over 20 years journalism with RTÉ saw her help tell the stories of so many often marginalised. She strove to inform, probe and encourage.
Always inquisitive, interested, thoughtful and kind. The fact that she presented our flagship Six One News while dealing with cancer is inspirational in itself and so typical of Keelin’s determination to live life to the full. Our hearts go out to Conor, Lucy and Ben and her wider family. We are all poorer for her loss.

RTÉ director general Dee Forbes described Keelin as a “passionate and dedicated public service journalist” who had “expertise that challenged and probed as well as an ease that endeared her to all”.

“Keelin was incredibly popular with all her colleagues. But our loss is nothing compared to that of her much-loved family. My sincere sympathies go to Conor, Lucy, and Ben, to Keelin’s extended family, and to her wide circle of friends,” said Forbes. 

President Michael D Higgins said the nation will have been “greatly saddened” by her passing. 

A statement reads: “People all over Ireland will have been greatly saddened by the news of the death of Keelin Shanley, broadcaster and award-winning journalist.

“Driven by a strong commitment to social justice, she brought great professionalism and dedication to her work as a journalist.

“Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to her husband Conor, their children Lucy and Ben, her wider family and her wide circle of friends.”

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Interview

In March 2013, just after the launch of Morning Edition and to mark Daffodil Day, she spoke to Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show about having lived with a cancer diagnosis. 

She was diagnosed with breast cancer on 25 February 2011, the same day as that year’s general election.  

“I was horrified, I hadn’t a notion,” she said, before praising the healthcare she had received.

“It’s an awfully shocking word to hear… One of the worst things about it is to tell other people,” she added, likening it to an explosion in loved ones’ lives.

Source: Irish Cancer Society/YouTube

- With reporting from Adam Daly

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