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Racing broadcaster Colm Murray dies

Colm Murray, one of Ireland's best-known racing broadcasters, has died at the age of 61.

The RTE presenter passed away on Monday evening after a three-year battle against motor neurone disease, having been diagnosed with the fatal neurological disorder in April 2010.

Last year he was recognised with a People of the Year Award for his work in highlighting the debilitating disease, while in the course of his sports broadcasting career, he covered a large number of national and international events, including the Cheltenham Festival since 1990.

Although able to cross all sporting codes, Murray will forever be associated with racing and was given an industry award by Horse Racing Ireland in 2010.

Murray is survived by his wife, Anne, daughters Kate and Patricia and his sister, Mary.

Leading National Hunt jockeys Davy Russell and Barry Geraghty paid their respects to Murray on Twitter.

Russell said: "Very sad to hear of the passing of Colm Murray. A true sports fan and gentleman who adored his racing. Thoughts are with his family."

Geraghty said: "Very sad news to hear of RTE sports correspondent Colm Murray's passing. He was such a nice man and a great supporter of racing and all sports."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Murray was the voice of Irish racing for many years and he lit up the coverage of racing with his passion and enthusiasm.

''I had the pleasure of being in Colm's company recently and could see he was a proud Westmeath man who brought out the best in those around him with his affability and gift for storytelling,'' he said.

''I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, Ann, and daughters, Patricia and Kate, and sister, Mary.

''He is also a huge loss to all in RTE and my thoughts are with all who had the pleasure of knowing Colm during his lifetime.''

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