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Tributes to 'titan of Irish broadcast journalism' Mike Burns

Tributes have been paid to Mike Burns, a former RTE Editor, who has died in Dublin at the age of 84. Picture by RTE
Marie Louise McConville

A FORMER RTÉ Editor has been described as "a titan of Irish broadcast journalism" following his death at the age of 84.

Mike Burns, who was born in Leicester but whose family moved to Ballintubber, Co Roscommon, passed away in Dublin.

Having begun his career at the Sunday Independent, Mr Burns later joined RTÉ, initially writing for the RTÉ Guide but soon moved to the newsroom.

He went on to become RTÉ’s first Editor of News Features, launching the News at 1.30 (now the RTÉ News at One), World Report and This Week.

He later moved to London as RTÉ's London Editor in the late 1980s and in 2004. He received an MBE for his services to UK-Irish relations throughout his career.

President Michael D Higgins said: "In so many ways, as a journalist Mike Burns was in touch with all aspects of the Irish diaspora.

"This was demonstrated by his coverage of the Kennedy funerals and later in his work in London where he showed a deep respect for people of different views," he said.

"The tributes by so many of his colleagues to his geniality and the ease with which he engaged both with people and with complex issues is an appropriate one, and one that is shared by all those who knew him."

Joe Mulholland, a former RTÉ Director of News, said Mr Burns was "an extraordinary networker".

"He had an amazing list of contacts. People trusted him," he said.

"He was a news person at heart because he always loved being first with the story."

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