Statements & Speeches

RTÉ Statement on the death of Tom Savage

Former Chair of the RTE Board, Tom Savage passed away this morning after a short illness. Tom served in a number of significant roles at RTÉ over many years: he was a founder-producer of Morning Ireland and a familiar voice on the programme’s popular, ‘It Says in the Papers’ for 15 years; he worked in RTÉ Radio as a night news editor; he presented shows on RTÉ television, such as For Better or For Worse and Eye Witness. More recently, he served as Chair of the RTE Board from 2009 – 2014.

RTÉ Director-General Dee Forbes said, "This morning we heard the sad news of Tom Savage's passing after a short illness. Tom's life and career intertwined with RTÉ over many years, as a reporter, producer, editor, presenter and ultimately as Chairman. He loved and had a passion for broadcasting, radio in particular, and beyond news and politics he was also huge sports fan. On behalf of RTÉ, I would like pass on all our condolences to Terry and Anton and his extended family. May he rest in peace."

Chair of the RTÉ Board, Moya Doherty said, “I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of my friend and predecessor as Chair of the RTÉ Board, Tom Savage.  Tom’s leadership of RTÉ during difficult times was greatly helped by his deep knowledge of the organisation gathered over the many years he was associated with it.   My sincere condolences go to his wife, Terry and son Anton.“

Courtesy of RTÉ Archives, here is a clip of Tom presenting ‘Eye Witness’ in a 1979 studio discussion during which he gives the background to Northern Ireland in 1968, the lead-up to the Caledon protest and the beginnings of civil disobedience as a form of protest.

Tom Savage studied at Queen’s University Belfast. After graduating in 1968, he became Director of Social Welfare in the Archdiocese of Armagh, a post he held until 1972. Also in 1972, Cardinal William Conway appointed him to the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). During the Troubles, he was the priest sent by Cardinal Conway to welcome the British troops into Northern Ireland. Tom also edited several publications, including the IPA’s Public Affairs and the IMO’s Irish Medical News, before joining Bunny Carr as Head of Training in Carr Communications in the mid-seventies. He was founder director of The Communications Clinic, a business he established with this wife, Terry Prone. He was also Communications Advisor to former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds. His 1999 textbook on Negotiation Skills, How to Get What You Want, has been published internationally.

Tom was a lifelong member of Cooley Kickham GAA club in County Louth, played senior football for the county and won an All-Ireland junior medal in 1961. He also was a member of the first Queens University GAA team to win the Sigerson cup.