Death of former Irish News correspondent Mary Campbell `loss of another great light in Irish journalism'
FRIENDS and colleagues of RTÉ editor Mary Campbell on both sides of the border are mourning the loss of "another great light in Irish journalism".
Ms Campbell, who died on Wednesday in her late fifties after a short illness, began her career in the 1980s as a reporter in The Irish News, where she was first female farming correspondent, before moving to BBC Radio Ulster in 1989.
Hailing from Co Fermanagh and "utterly devoted to her family" who she continued to visit at weekends wherever her career took her, she was living in Killester, Dublin with her husband Paul Torsney, having gone on to become a producer on RTÉ Radio One's Pat Kenny Show before moving to BBC's Dublin bureau in 1999, and returning to RTÉ as news editor in 2005.
She became deputy programming editor with the broadcaster in 2015.
Irish News editor Noel Doran said: "Mary Campbell was one of the most talented journalists of her generation and was highly regarded during her time here.
"She went on to have a distinguished career with both the BBC and RTÉ and she will be sadly missed by her many friends among the past and present staff of The Irish News.".
Irish News contributor Gerry McLaughlin said the Belleek native, a past pupil of John the Baptist Primary School, Roscor and Mount Lourdes Grammar School in Enniskillen, was "exceptionally bright and equally understated, a calm presence in a very egotistical industry and was always superbly organised".
"Mary faced her final illness in the same way she faced life, bravely, calmly and with the minimum of fuss."
RTÉ Morning Ireland presenter Audrey Carville said she was "heartbroken" at the death of her "generous and loyal (friend) and a superb editor".
Arts journalist Jane Coyle wrote on Twitter: "We met in 1980s working for The Irish News. Serene, wry, kind, clever. Always pleased to bump into each other. Last time at Happy Days festival in Enniskillen. Hard to believe. A lovely person."
Bríd Stenson, a broadcast journalist at BBC World Service, said she was "beyond heartbroken" at the death of "my beautiful friend and former colleague".
"Never underestimate the women in the newsroom with the soft voices who do instrumental work and prop up other women, I've so much to be grateful for.
"(Mary) told me she was ill but it seems much too soon and so unfair."
Sunday Business Post columnist Cathal Mac Coille said she was "a very good person and journalist who could made you stop and think with just a few thoughtful words".
RTÉ 6.01 anchor Keelin Shanley said she was "one of the sharpest, most gracious, generous editors I've ever worked with".
"Mary is a huge loss to us all - firstly as a person but also as a colleague."
Commentator Dearbhail McDonald said she was a "journalist of the utmost integrity".
"We've lost another great light in Irish journalism."
Her funeral is at 11am tomorrow at Dardistown, Cloghran, Co Dublin, with donations in lieu of flowers to Irish Cancer Society.
Memorial Mass will be held in St John the Baptist Church, Toura, Belleek at a date to be confirmed.