RTÉ STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF COLM MURRAY

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The death has taken place of the RTÉ journalist and broadcaster Colm Murray.

Colm joined RTÉ in October 1978, where he took up a post as continuity announcer. In the course of his sports broadcasting career, he has covered a large number of national and international events, including the Cheltenham Festival since 1990 and the Olympics and Paralympics in Sydney, However, he regarded his assignment with Jack Charlton’s Republic of Ireland soccer team in Italia Novanta (the 1990 World Cup in Italy) as the highlight of his sports broadcasting career.

Although able to cross all sporting codes, Colm will forever be associated with Horse Racing where his knowledge of the sport combined with his exuberant personality made the sport accessible to all. From Cheltenham to Punchestown, Gowran to Fairyhouse Colm was the voice and face of racing for hundreds of thousands of race goers.

Colm also pioneered coverage of the Paralympics and Special Olympics when assigned to both by RTÉ, bringing a prominence to both codes which they had not previously enjoyed. His warmth and ability to put athletes at ease saw him embraced by successive Irish paralympic teams as an ambassador each Olympiad.

In March 2010 Colm was diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease. He continued to work in the RTÉ newsroom and embarked on a series of in-depth radio profiles of luminaries such as Alex Ferguson, Brian O’Driscoll and Johnny Murtagh. His journalistic professionalism and desire to assist others also saw him embark on an RTÉ documentary to highlight MND and assist in developing treatment for those diagnosed.

Colm is survived by his wife Ann, and daughters Patricia and Kate.

Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport, RTÉ paid tribute today: It’s a sad sad day for all of us that knew and worked with Colm. He had an infectious laugh, a real sense of fun and a little mischief that has been, and will always be, missed in this office.  His commitment and love for his work was there for all to see and he will be long remembered for his kindness, decency and caring of those with whom he came into contact. Our thoughts are with his wife Ann and all his family”.

Noel Curran, Director General of RTÉ, said: We were all really saddened this morning to hear of the passing of our colleague and friend Colm Murray. The courage that Colm has shown over these past couple of years has been truly extraordinary. The news is all the more poignant given the recent sudden passing of his sister Cathy, who also worked in our newsroom. He will rightly be remembered by the horse racing community for his enthusiasm and authority. For all who worked with him in RTÉ he will be remembered as a wonderful colleague and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with Colm’s family today.”

 

Date: Tuesday, 30th July 2013

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Issued by:

Laura Fitzgerald, Communications Manager, RTÉ News & Current Affairs, Ph: 01-2083996, 087 2923931, Laura.Fitzgerald@rte.ie

 

Images:

Photos will be issued to all national photodesks and are available upon request

Full Biog Information:

Colm Murray was a native of Moate, County Westmeath and graduated from University College Galway in 1972 with a BA degree in French, English and History. For the next three years he taught at secondary schools in Athlone and Tullamore, having completed his Higher Diploma in Education at Maynooth University

In 1975 he moved to Dublin where he taught French, English and History in Ballymun Comprehensive School.

In October 1978, Colm changed career direction and moved to RTÉ Radio, where he took up a post as continuity announcer. Then having presented various programmes, including the long-running ‘Hospitals’ Requests’, he became a newscaster in 1983.

In 1988, when RTÉ introduced its hour-long Six One News format, he moved into sports broadcasting as a sports presenter and a founding member of the sports news unit on the Six One news. Colm together with his late friend Vere Wynne Jones pioneered sports coverage for RTÉ and remained an integral part of the unit until illness forced him to stand aside in 2012.

In the course of his sports broadcasting career, he has covered a large number of national and international events, including the Cheltenham Festival since 1990 and the Olympics and Paralympics in Sydney, Athens, and Beijing. At the end of the Millennium year he was presented with the ESB Media Award as Sports Broadcaster of the Year for his coverage of the Irish team and their participation in the Sydney Paralympics. However, he regarded his assignment with Jack Charlton’s Republic of Ireland soccer team in Italia Novanta (the 1990 World Cup in Italy) as the highlight of his sports broadcasting career.

Although able to cross all sporting codes Colm will forever be associated with Horse Racing where his knowledge of the sport combined with his exuberant personality made the sport accessible to all. From Cheltenham to Punchestown, Gowran to Fairyhouse Colm was the voice and face of racing for hundreds of thousands of race goers.

Such was his contribution to the sport that Colm was honoured with an industry award by Horse Racing Ireland in 2010 for “his engaging and eloquent reports, illuminating the sport in a constantly positive and entertaining manner”.

Colm also pioneered coverage of the Paralympics and Special Olympics when assigned to both by RTÉ, bringing a prominence to both codes which they had not previously enjoyed. His warmth and ability to put athletes at ease saw him embraced by successive Irish paralympic teams as an ambassador each Olympiad.

In March 2010 Colm was diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease. He continued to work in the RTÉ newsroom and embarked on a series of in-depth radio profiles of luminaries such as Alex Ferguson, Brian O’Driscoll and Johnny Murtagh. His journalistic professionalism and desire to assist others also saw him embark on an RTÉ documentary to highlight MND and assist in developing treatment for those diagnosed. Such was the impact of the programme and his tireless efforts on behalf of those with MND that Colm was further honoured by receiving a People of the Year award in September 2012 in recognition of his efforts to further medical research into the debilitating disease.

Colm is survived by his wife Ann, and daughters Patricia and Kate.