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'We were lucky to have her': Funeral of RTÉ broadcaster Keelin Shanley takes place in Dublin

The death of the 51-year-old RTÉ stalwart was announced on Saturday.

Updated Feb 12th 2020, 3:19 PM

keelin-shanley-funeral The coffin is removed from the church following the funeral of journalist and broadcaster Keelin Shanley. Source: Brian Lawless/PA Images

THE FUNERAL OF RTÉ broadcaster and journalist Keelin Shanley has taken place this afternoon in Glenageary in Dublin.

The 51-year-old died following an illness and her death was announced on Saturday – with tributes pouring in from colleagues and friends in the hours after.

keelin-shanley-funeral Shanley's husband Connor Ferguson Source: Brian Lawless/PA

Shanley survived by her husband Connor Ferguson and children Lucy and Ben.

On Prime Time last night, Miriam O’Callaghan paid tribute to “our colleague and dear friend” which was followed by a specially edited segment featuring some of Shanley’s reporting from over the years.

keelin-shanley-funeral President Higgins and his wife Sabina Source: Brian Lawless/PA

“Keelin Shanley leaves a legacy of powerful journalism, driven by a strong commitment to social justice,” O’Callaghan concluded.

In a moving 30-minute eulogy today, her husband said: “She was humble, she was very dogged and determined in her work to do her best and she knew how good she could be but she was a humble spirit and she was shy.

“She loved listening to people and meeting people and getting stories out of people.

“She liked to elicit stories from people and in doing so, she engendered so much love and appreciation for that because people felt they could talk to her and felt she was listening and she knew how to ask the right questions and how to walk the line between getting the person to tell the difficult story and not exploiting them.

“She was charming, warm-hearted, whip-smart, she was always on the ball and incredibly curious and a little bit bossy and stubborn.

“She was so loving to all of us and to her family. We were lucky to have her.”

In his tribute, Keelin’s brother Eoin said she filled the role of big sister “admirably and with gusto”.

“She was a huge influence on us,” he added.

“She had an endless curiosity and desire to learn and read everything she could find.

“She had an amazing can-do attitude and would go out of her way if you decided you want to do something.

keelin-shanley-funeral Ryan Tubridy at today's funeral Source: Brian Lawless/PA

“She was very proud of us all and I think she had more belief in us than we had in ourselves and was always encouraging us to go the extra mile.

“She had a fantastic sense of fun and a very dark sense of humour. She was our influencer, she was unquestionably the boss and she was our mentor.

“A bright, bossy and funny light has gone.”

Her two children Ben and Lucy presented a golden rabbit ornament and a swimming cap to represent her.

The humanist celebrant, Susie Kennedy, said: “She will be greatly missed in her public role as a journalist of great integrity, energy, professionalism, intelligence and compassion.

“She will also be sorely missed by her family and close friends.

“They will miss her positivity, her zest for living every minute of life to the full.

“Keelin was a woman of enormous humour, intelligence, talent and creativity.”

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. 

Attendees at today’s funeral included President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and RTÉ colleagues past and present.

keelin-shanley-funeral Source: Brian Lawless/PA

With reporting from the Press Association

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Sean Murray

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