Government renames a special fund for journalists after the Irish news cameraman who was shot dead in Saudi Arabia.

Simon Cumbers who was from Navan County Meath was killed while working as a news cameraman for the BBC in the United Kingdom.  

With his colleague BBC security correspondant Frank Gardener, they travelled to the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh to report on the aftermath of a terrorist attack at Al-Khobar the centre of the Saudi oil industry.  

While on location they were ambushed by a  gunman. Cumbers was killed and Gardener survived but sustained serious injuries.  

Today Irish Aid the Irish government's programme for overseas development funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs officially launched the Simon Cumbers Media Challenge Fund, which supports journalists and media organisations reporting on contemporary issues from developing countries. 

Simon's family were present at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Iveagh House for the event. His father Bob described him as a 

Tremendous guy, great character, would fill the house when he came in.

Sister Catriona Cumbers says he was someone who loved his job, and  

To have something like this to honour him is unbelieveable.

Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights Conor Lenihan TD (Teachta Dála) emphasised the importance of the media in Ireland reporting on issues faced by communities in developing countries, as they are  

Worlds apart from the way we live in this wealthy country we call Ireland.

Reporters and camera crews who travel to the world’s danger zones now receive specialised training, but in spite of this more media workers have been killed in Iraq than in the whole of the Vietnam War. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 October 2005. The reporter is Gareth O’Connor.