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Union pays tribute to pioneering broadcaster Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane  -  © RTÉ

3 January 2020

The National Union of Journalists has paid tribute to broadcaster and union member Marian Finucane, who died suddenly at her home yesterday (Thursday 2 January). 

She was aged 69 and was recognised as a pioneer of Irish broadcasting who paved the way for women in RTÉ.

Marian Finucane was the first presenter of the popular RTÉ Radio 1 Liveline. She presented the ground-breaking programme Women Today, and for two years hosted the Marian Finucane Show. She qualified as an architect and was a prominent campaign for women’s rights and a student activist prior to her entry into journalism.

Extending sympathy to her husband John and son Jack, Séamus Dooley, assistant general secretary, said:

“Marian Finucane was a pioneering broadcaster of grace, style, wisdom and good humour while her outstanding characteristic was her deep empathy. In her work in RTÉ she paved the way for a generation of women who felt excluded from journalism. Marian brought women in from the margins and firmly altered public discourse on a range of social and economic issues, not least gender discrimination and the appalling inequalities which existed in Ireland when she began her broadcasting career. Committed to the values of public service broadcasting, she was forensic in her interviewing techniques, never feeling the need to hector but always ready to challenge guests who tried to evade her question.
“While committed to social justice and progressive reform she was always mindful of her obligations as a broadcaster and was widely respected for her fairness as an interviewer. Marian was a member of the NUJ throughout her professional career.  She is remembered for her kindness and courtesy, especially to young journalists and researchers but also to panellists and reviewers on her radio show.
“On behalf of the NUJ, I extend sympathy not just to John and Jack but to the programme team, to Marian’s colleagues and former RTÉ colleagues and to the many friends who will mourn her passing.”

Tags: , Marian Finucane, obituary, rté, broadcasting, public service broadcasting