Northern Ireland news

Tribute paid to `exceptional' former Belfast Telegraph Dublin correspondent Michael Devine

Michael Devine, former Dublin correspondent for the Belfast Telegraph

TRIBUTE has been paid to the "exceptional" Michael Devine, former Dublin correspondent for the Belfast Telegraph, who has died aged 80.

He worked for the Irish Times before joining the Belfast-based newspaper where he began his tenure covering the 1970 Dublin arms trial involving cabinet ministers Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney, who were accused of plotting to acquire weapons.

He reported on the Dail - where he was reputed to be on first names terms with "virtually every politician" for more than 30 years and covered some of the most high profile developments in the Republic.

Former Sunday Life editor Martin Lindsay, who worked alongside Mr Devine, told the Belfast Telegraph he had been "a truly first-rate, all-round journalist".

"During the decades of political unrest he had an exceptional ability for reading the changes in the political landscape and how shifts in political opinion in Dublin would impact on Northern Ireland.

"He spent countless hours reporting Dail debates, and this was underpinned with private briefings he received from TDs and ministers who trusted his honesty and integrity in committing to print, in a fair and balanced way, the Dublin take on the ever-changing political scene on both sides of the border.

A keen golfer and Dublin GAA team supporter, he also worked a Saturday afternoon shift in the sports department at RTÉ for many years.

He is survived by his wife Deirdre and children Shane, Michelle and Joanne.

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