It was sometime in the mid-1980s and the car park outside Superquinn in Walkinstown was packed, with more people than usual milling around.

As we approached, long school skirts flapping, we realised what the fuss was about. There was a 2FM vehicle in the car park and, more to the point, they were looking for participants for the Just A Minute Quiz. 

In Ireland in the 1980s, you couldn't get more famous than that. I vaguely remember trying to take part in the quiz and being turned down - I have a notion it was because I was under 16, but it was a long time ago - yet what strongly stands out is my feeling of watching a real radio programme in action and being close to a real radio legend.

"Even as a child he was a radio addict, listening to stations like Radio Luxembourg and dreaming of the airwaves."

If Larry Gogan was in Walkinstown then that meant RTÉ itself had come to the neighbourhood - and that meant a lot.

Larry Gogan had the perfect voice for radio - warm, engaging, knowledgeable yet somehow unobtrusive, because for Larry it was all about the music, and the listeners.

His father owned a shop in Fairview in Dublin, but even as a child he was a radio addict, listening to stations like Radio Luxembourg and dreaming of the airwaves. One of the shop's customers, Maura Fox, worked in advertising and gave the young Larry an audition to record sponsored programmes. Soon Raidió Éireann came calling and the dream became a reality. 

Larry's interest always lay in pop music, and he was a natural choice to move across to RTÉ 2FM when it began broadcasting in 1979 - in fact he played the first record ever on that station, Like Clockwork by The Boomtown Rats.

"His colleagues genuinely loved him, and many of them told him they had been inspired to work in radio having grown up listening to him."

His interest in and support for Irish music was to last a lifetime and when he left 2FM in January 2019 many of the musicians he supported thanked him including Bob Geldof and Larry Mullen of U2 - in fact Larry Gogan was one of the few people to whom Larry Mullen would give an in-depth interview.

His colleagues genuinely loved him, and many of them told him they had been inspired to work in radio having grown up listening to him.  And of course he was adored by his audience, lots of whom approached him with requests, telling him that his shows had marked important moments in their lives.

Many people are also remembering, and laughing about the Just a Minute Quiz, where the wrong answers were more entertaining than the right ones but the man behind the clipboard was always kind, saying simply, "they didn't suit you".

A devoted family man, Larry was predeceased by his wife Florrie and is survived by his five children and grandchildren. His absence will be felt by radio listeners everywhere.


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