Northern Ireland

Late News Letter journalist remembered as an "exceptional newsman"

Dan Kinney. Picture by the Saffron Gael
Dan Kinney. Picture by the Saffron Gael Dan Kinney. Picture by the Saffron Gael

A former deputy editor of The News Letter has been described by colleagues as an “exceptional newsman” after his death.

Daniel Kinney from Layde, outside Cushendall in Co Antrim, died in Glendun Nursing Home at Knocknacarry on Tuesday. He was 95.

Although initially planning to become a veterinary surgeon, Mr Kinney switched to journalism, embarking on a long and illustrious career.

After a four-year stint in The Irish News, Mr Kinney moved to join the Dublin Herald, then to The Guardian to work in its London office.

He later returned to Northern Ireland and worked for The Belfast Telegraph before taking up the role of business editor at The News Letter in the 1960s and rising up the ranks to become deputy editor and chief leader (Morning View) writer under five editors.

Longstanding News Letter journalist Billy Kennedy expressed his deep sadness at the death of Mr Kinney, describing him as an “exceptional newsman” and “a decent and loyal newspaper colleague".

“He often said to me, ‘In Morning View, I write on behalf of the decent, upright, unionist and Presbyterian neighbours of mine in the Glens of Antrim.’ Dan had no time for the paramilitaries, on both sides, and those who were causing mayhem during that very difficult period," Mr Kennedy said.

"I learned much working alongside him – he was old school, but was a journalist who maintained the highest levels of accuracy, integrity, morality and decency. My sincere sympathy is extended to his family.”

Mr Kinney also contributed to Farming Life for many years through his weekly Rod and Gun column.

Farming Life editor Ruth Rodgers said: “His columns on the countryside and its management were both knowledgeable, entertaining and informative.

“It was clear he had a genuine love for the outdoor life and he was usually accompanied by one of his grandsons as he took off across the moors in search of grouse, a fox or a missing dog. His passing leaves a big hole for his family and the wider community.”

In addition to his career in journalism, Mr Kinney was also an avid member of Ruairi Og Hurling and Camogie Club. A former player, he later became a manager and then chairman of the club.

Writing for The Saffron Gael website, journalist Denis O’Hara referred to Mr Kinney as a “powerhouse hurler”.

“He was one of the driving forces behind the Cushendall breakthrough at senior level and one of Dan’s proudest moments was when Chairman of the Ruairi Og hurling club during 1981 when the team won their first Antrim Senior Hurling Championship title,” wrote Mr O’Hara.