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Henry McDonald

'Everything a journalist should be': Tributes paid to late Irish reporter Henry McDonald

He was best known for his roles as Ireland correspondent for The Guardian and Observer newspapers.

POLITICIAL LEADERS IN Northern Ireland have led tributes to Irish journalist Henry McDonald, who has died aged 57. 

He was best known for his roles as Ireland correspondent for The Guardian and Observer newspapers over 23 years.

He became Belfast News Letter’s political editor in 2022 and had previously worked as a security correspondent at BBC News NI. 

McDonald had also written several books about the Troubles in Northern Ireland. 

The Guardian reported that he died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where he was being treated for cancer. 

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said he was “greatly saddened” to hear of McDonald’s death. 

“Henry was an excellent journalist and one of the most knowledgeable commentators in Northern Ireland politics,” Donaldson said. 

“Always enjoyed my conversations with a man who was good humoured, insightful and passionate about this place,” he said. 

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said McDonald was a “tenacious and perceptive journalist with a quick wit”. 

“He will be desperately missed. Thoughts with all his family and friends, grieving his loss,” Long said. 

Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie said he was “genuinely saddened” to hear of the news. 

“A fantastic journalist, author and friend,” Beattie said. 

Tributes have also poured in from journalists.

Katharine Viner, editor in chief of The Guardian said: “This is shocking news. Henry was a highly respected correspondent for The Guardian and Observer for most of his career. He broke countless stories and told them with integrity, eloquence and empathy.” 

Belfast News Letter editor Ben Lowry said that from his first day, McDonald was “bursting with ideas, anecdotes, enthusiasm and stories”. 

Suzanne Breen, the Belfast Telegraph’s political editor said McDonald was “everything a journalist should be”. 

“Brimming with character, curiosity, talent and a commitment to truth-telling no matter who it upset,” she said. 

“His breadth of knowledge was breathtaking. They don’t make many like that nowadays. Taken far too soon. Rest in peace my friend.”

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