Tribute to “Irish journalism titan” Mike Burns

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A FORMER RTÉ editor has been described as “a titan of Irish broadcast journalism” after his death at the age of 84.

Mike Burns, who was born in Leicester but whose family moved to Ballintubber, Co Roscommon, has died in Dublin.

After starting his career at the Sunday Independent, Mr. Burns then joined RTÉ, initially writing for the RTÉ Guide, but soon joined the newsroom.

He went on to become the first editor of RTÉ news articles, kicking off the 1:30 p.m. news (now RTÉ news at One), World Report and This Week.

He then moved to London as Editor-in-Chief of RTÉ in London in the late 1980s and in 2004. He was awarded an MBE for his services to UK-Ireland relations throughout his career.

President Michael D Higgins said: “In many ways, as a journalist, Mike Burns was in touch with all aspects of the Irish Diaspora.

“This was demonstrated by his coverage of Kennedy’s funeral and later in his work in London where he showed deep respect for people of different opinions,” he said.

“The tributes from so many of his colleagues to his genius and the ease with which he engaged both with people and with complex issues is a fitting tribute and shared by all who knew him.”

Joe Mulholland, former RTÉ news director, said Mr. Burns was “an amazing networker.”

“He had an incredible list of contacts. People trusted him,” he said.

“He was a journalist at heart because he always liked to be the first with the story.”

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