Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to sports writer Houlihan

Ireland has lost a towering figure in sports journalism following the death of veteran writer and commentator Con Houlihan, the Minister for Arts said today.

Jimmy Deenihan and President Michael D Higgins led tributes to the 86 year old Kerry-born journalist.

They described the writer, who died in hospital in Dublin after a long illness, as a giant of journalism and commentary.

Mr Deenihan said: "Con Houlihan was a great sports writer who brought the game to life for his readers and was a towering figure in sports journalism for many decades.

"It is fair to say that he raised the bar for sports journalism, often referencing things outside of sport - like art or literature - to add to his commentary on a particular game.

"Con was also a respected writer and critic on the arts, working with the Irish Press for many years. Though he had been ill in the last number of years he kept writing until very recently."

Mr Higgins said he was saddened by the loss of "a most original writer, with a unique style based on his extensive knowledge of literature, politics, life and sport".

The president added: "As a sportswriter, who engaged us over the decades, he had that special quality and ability to identify with the passion, pain and celebration of Irish community life."

Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin said the journalist's death was a great loss.

"Con Houlihan was quite simply one of the greatest sporting writers and commentators the country has seen," he said. "He has written about so many triumphs in Irish sport over the decades and his work is as much a part of Irish history as the events themselves."

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