Highly respected broadcaster Marian Finucane has died, aged 69.
She passed away today at her home in Naas.
Ms Finucane’s Saturday show on RTE Radio 1 was one of the most listened to radio programmes in the country with a listenership of 363,000 in 2019.
Her show featured interviews, human interest stories, consumer and lifestyle news as well as panel discussions on issues of the week.
Each of her programmes began with Ms Finucane's signature tune, followed by her iconic phrase: “Hello there, and a very good-morning to you!”
The household name is survived by her husband, John Clarke and son, Jack. Their daughter, Sinead tragically passed away in 1990 at the age of eight after developing leukaemia.
In a statement, RTE Director General Dee Forbes said they were shocked and saddened at the news.
Marian was a broadcaster of immense capability; a household name, she was first and foremost a tenacious journalist with a zeal for breaking new ground. From Women Today to Liveline to her weekday radio show on Radio 1 and, latterly, her enormously popular Saturday and Sunday radio programme, she tackled the big social issues of the day with command and insight," Ms Forbes said.
"Multi-skilled, she forged a distinguished career on television, as well as undertaking significant charity work in Africa. Ireland has lost a unique voice. RTÉ has lost a beloved colleague. My sincere and heartfelt sympathies to her husband John and son Jack," she added.
Head of Radio at RTE, Tom McGuire said: “Marian Finucane was a defining voice for RTE Radio 1, and for the nation. Her work on Liveline was without parallel, where she merged an unsurpassed journalistic vigour with a flair for debate and discussion unmatched among her peers.
"As the voice of weekends, she parsed the stories of the day, tackling big interviews with ease and insight. Her loss is a deep shock to all of us, and our thoughts are with Marian’s family at this time.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described her as “a true broadcasting legend who reshaped current affairs radio”.
“Ireland will miss her voice. Weekend mornings will never be quite the same again,” he said.
In a statement issued on social media, Mr Varadkar said he spent many hours in the studio with her.
“She was thorough, courteous and professional. I’m very sad to think that we won’t hear her voice again on the radio.”
The Taoiseach offered the “deepest sympathies” of the Government to her family, friends and colleagues.