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Image / Editorial

‘What a legacy’: RTÉ Prime Time viewers commend brilliant tribute to Keelin Shanley


by Grace McGettigan
12th Feb 2020
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Keelin Shanley, who passed away from cancer on Saturday, was remembered in a “touching tribute” by her colleagues on RTÉ Prime Time on Tuesday night


Viewers of RTÉ Prime Time have taken to social media to express their gratitude for such a “beautiful and touching tribute” to the late Keelin Shanley. Aged just 51, Keelin died “peacefully” on Saturday, with her death notice reading she slipped away “in the last sunshine before the storm after a courageous battle with cancer”.

Despite originally studying science at Trinity College in Dublin, the Monkstown-native soon found herself moving into journalism. As highlighted in the special Prime Time tribute on Tuesday, this was a career she led with integrity, empathy and compassion.

Joining RTÉ in her twenties, Keelin spent two decades presenting current affairs programmes across television and radio. She was particularly interested in social justice issues, and she will be well-remembered for her incredible coverage of developing countries such as Uganda and Liberia.

Over the years, the mother-of-two appeared on Prime Time, Crimecall, Morning Edition and most recently, the Six One News. She also worked on radio shows including Morning Ireland and Late Debate.

‘An incredible tribute’

With Keelin’s funeral set to take place on Wednesday at St Paul’s Church in Glenageary, her former colleagues at Prime Time wanted to say one last professional goodbye.

In a segment of Tuesday night’s show, host Miriam O’Callaghan shone a light on what was an outstanding career in journalism. Viewers have commended the programme for highlighting Keelin’s dedication to disadvantaged communities, adding that the tribute is “worth watching back if you missed it”.

Writer and podcaster Roisin Ingle tweeted, “There was an incredible tribute to Keelin Shanley on Prime Time earlier showing what an extraordinary journalist she was, especially highlighting issues affecting disadvantaged communities. Worth watching back if you missed it. Well done Miriam O’Callaghan and team. She was so special.”

Another viewer said, “Miriam O’Callaghan, thank you for that beautiful and thoughtful tribute to the late Keelin Shanley. What an indescribable loss to journalism and to Ireland.”

Meanwhile, another said, “Lest we forget what an extraordinary journalist Keelin Shanley was and what an impact she had on our society. She leaves an unbelievable legacy, albeit far too soon. RIP #KeelinShanley.”

“Very distressing side of life in Ireland,” one viewer added. “We don’t often hear these stories. Great investigative work by Keelin Shanley. Very sad that she died at such a young age. My thoughts and prayers for her, her family and wide circle of friends. RIP.”

Jon Williams, who is the Managing Director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs, has previously said, “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.”

He added that, while everybody at RTÉ is deeply saddened by her passing, “our loss is nothing compared to that of her much-loved family”. Keelin is survived by her husband Conor, and children Lucy and Ben.

Photo: RTÉ


Read more: I went to the Mansion House to sign Gay Byrne’s condolences book — and I’ve never been more proud to be Irish

Read more: Marian Finucane: 5 of her most maverick moments

Read more: 5 of our favourite interviews by Marian Finucane

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