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Marian Finucane had decided in early December that she would retire

Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll, who is a cousin of Marian’s, paid tribute to her as “an icon of Irish broadcasting”.

MARIAN FINUCANE’S HUSBAND said that the veteran broadcaster had decided to retire last December.

John Clarke said that they had been “so excited” at the prospect of retirement: “We would have more time, more space, more books to read, more places to see. Sadly that’s not going to happen.”

The 69-year-old radio presenter, who had been the voice of various flagship RTÉ programmes for four decades, passed away at her home last Thursday.

Today, a large crowd of family, friends and colleagues gathered at St Brigid’s Church in Kill, Co Kildare for her funeral.

In a heartfelt eulogy address, her husband John described the relationship he had with “my Marian, a woman who I’ve loved for 40 years”, who he said made “the colours brighter, the world a bit easier to live in”. 

Somebody said about us, I don’t know who, that we were two 15-year-old adolescents who were addicted to each other and forgot to grow up. I don’t deny that.

“I find myself so powerless at the moment, I truly don’t know what to do,” John told the congregation, while visibly upset.

Some weeks ago we were in a township in Africa where a very old black woman said to us, the only thing I can give you are my tears – and that’s all I think I can do today. 

Their son Jack had spoken earlier about his mother’s “great empathy and curiosity”. 

He said that “the woman I knew was a shy lady who was as happy reading a book in silence as she was sitting around the dinner table in the small hours of the morning with friends, laughing, joking, singing (when she could remember the words), debating the politics of the day, and generally sorting out the world’s problems one dinner party at a time”.

marian-finucane-funeral Marian Finucane's son Jack with his wife Jenny. PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

The chief celebrant of the mass Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll, who is a cousin of Marian’s, paid tribute to her as “an icon of Irish broadcasting”.

A generous and determined woman, and a thoughtful and kind friend whose keen sense of humour enriched the lives of many, her charity work at home and abroad was simply outstanding.

“Thousands always enjoyed her programmes and she will be missed on the radio. Publicly, the nation has lost a skilled broadcaster.”

Born in 1950, Marian Finucane first worked with RTÉ in the 1970s. A qualified architect, she became a programme presenter working on programmes concerned with contemporary social issues, especially those concerning women, notably on Women Today.

She became a household name with her Liveline programme on RTÉ Radio One. A winner of the Prix Italia, her television work included Consumer Choice and Crime Line.

On Gay Byrne’s retirement in 1999, she took over his early morning radio slot to present The Marian Finucane Show, ultimately taking over the morning slots on Saturday and Sunday.

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