Tributes paid to BBC journalist Amy-May Robinson who has died aged 50
BBC Northern Ireland staff paid tribute yesterday to colleague Amy-May Robinson, who has died aged 50.
The popular production journalist had been cared for in the Northern Ireland Hospice after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.
Amy-May had worked in journalism here for 30 years, earning her National Council for the Training of Journalists stripes in 1986.
She began her career at the Newtownards Chronicle, later moving to UTV and most recently to the BBC, where she was a highly respected and much-loved member of the news team.
Devoted to her family and to her dogs, Tia and Lola, Amy-May also worked for a period of the 1990s in the Herald and Post newspaper, owned by the Belfast Telegraph.
Kathleen Carragher, Head of BBC News NI, said last night: "Amy-May Robinson was an accomplished and hardworking journalist.
"She worked for BBC Northern Ireland for many years and will be deeply missed by all her colleagues."
Former colleagues last night spoke movingly of the friend they had lost.
Broadcaster Yvette Shapiro, who knew Amy-May for almost 30 years, said: "It's dreadfully sad news.
"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.
"Amy-May 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."
Newsreader Anne-Marie Foster, a close friend of Amy-May, said: "No-one wore a hat like Amy-May ... her collection was legendary.
"Just like her tenaciousness in chasing a story, her humanity when dealing with the people in the story and her ability to provoke a howl of laughter when she pronounced on anything that caught her fancy."
BBC News presenter Tara Mills posted a tribute to Amy-May on social media.
"Such sad news Amy-May Robinson has passed away.
"From first meeting her in BCR to the BBC she was funny, tenacious and very kind,"
Former Stormont Minister Mark H Durkan also shared his sadness at the respected journalist's passing.
"Awful sad news," the Foyle SDLP MLA tweeted.
"Thinking of her family, friends and the team."