Belfast Telegraph

BBC colleagues pay tribute as ‘vibrant and full of life’ Amy-May (50) is laid to rest

By Mark Bain

Family and friends at the funeral of journalist Amy-May Robinson have heard how she was "vibrant and full of life" as they were joined by many of her BBC colleagues.

Amy-May (50), who had worked in the local media for 30 years, died on April 14 after a long battle with illness.

She began her career at the Newtownards Chronicle, and worked at The Herald and Post in Belfast before moving to UTV and most recently to the BBC, where she was a highly respected and much-loved member of the news team as a production journalist.

Mourners at her funeral service held at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Newtownabbey heard Rev Canon Nigel Baylor describe her as "vibrant and full of life, living her days in joy, not sadness".

"Others could always see the spark in her, from her time at Stranmillis Primary School and Princess Gardens," he said. "She had always been a natural at art, especially portraits. She never realised the many gifts she had.

"She embarked on her career in journalism in 1986 when she earned her National Council for the Training of Journalists stripes.

"An illustrious career followed, most recently with the BBC, where her colleagues will remember her as bubbly, witty and warm, calm, with good values, but also with a serious approach to her profession.

"She always displayed humanity in dealing with difficult stories and all who worked with her were very fond of her."

The popular journalist had been cared for in the Northern Ireland Hospice after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

Rev Canon Baylor added: "Since being diagnosed with her illness two years ago she had shown bravery and courage, all with a smiling face throughout the challenges it brought.

"It's a wonderful tribute to her that so many of her colleagues are here today. She was very highly respected and much-loved."

Kathleen Carragher, head of BBC News NI, spoke fondly of her colleague.

"Amy-May was an accomplished and hard-working journalist. She worked for BBC Northern Ireland for many years and will be deeply missed by all her colleagues," she said.

Broadcaster Yvette Shapiro, who knew Amy-May for almost 30 years, also paid tribute, saying: "Amy-May was a highly skilled and professional journalist - and great fun. She was a joy to work with.

"I worked with her in 1987, when I worked at the Co Down Spectator, and Amy-May was at the Newtownards Chronicle, the sister paper.

"She was bubbly, beautiful, witty and warm, and very kind to a new reporter in her first job.

"I worked with her again some years later at the BBC, and she was just the same. She was always very calm, good natured, but very serious about her work. Everyone was very, very fond of her. She will be very much missed."

Among others attending the service were BBC Radio Ulster presenter Seamus McKee and BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport.

Following the service the funeral cortege travelled to Roselawn Cemetery in east Belfast for interment.

Belfast Telegraph

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