RTÉ HAS announced the sad passing of much-loved broadcaster and journalist Keelin Shanley.
Shanley died peacefully this afternoon after a long and brave battle against cancer.
The 51-year-old leaves behind a legacy of some two decades of work as a journalist and broadcaster at the forefront of Irish news.
Most recently serving anchor of the Six One News on RTÉ One, Keelin’s career began in 1999 when she joined Prime Time, RTÉ’s flagship current affairs television programme, as a reporter and presenter.
Her impeccable work on Prime Time and spin-off series Prime Time Investigates soon garnered her attention and acclaim in the form of three IFTA awards, a National Media Award, a Radharc award and a Justice Media Award.
We never saw Keelin without a bright smile. A brilliant broadcaster, and the bravest of women. Keelin's glass was always fully full, with a cherry on top. Thoughts are with her young family tonight..Bíodh leaba i measc na n-aingeal agat a chara x https://t.co/vShuhbxC7u via @rte
— Evanne Ní Chuilinn (@EvanneNiC) February 8, 2020
Her journey continued on, more recently, into work presenting Morning Edition, The Consumer Show, Crimecall and The Irish Book Awards on RTÉ One while in January 2018 she began presenting RTÉ Six One News.
A versatile and multitalented broadcaster, Keelin also carved out a career as a radio presenter, working on a variety of shows for RTÉ Radio 1 that included Morning Ireland; News at One; Today with Sean O'Rourke; and Late Debate.
Jon Williams, the Managing Director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs paid tribute to Keelin as a "fearless, generous, and passionate" journalist.
"Keelin was the best of us - and we are heartbroken," he said.
"Her legacy of over 20 years journalism with RTÉ saw her help tell the stories of so many often marginalised. She strove to inform, probe and encourage. Always inquisitive, interested, thoughtful and kind.
"The fact that she presented our flagship Six One News while dealing with cancer is inspirational in itself and so typical of Keelin's determination to live life to the full.
"Our hearts go out to Conor, Lucy and Ben and her wider family. We are all poorer for her loss."
Thank you for many kind words about #KeelinShanley. Hope knowing impact she made, source of comfort & pride for family. Tonight candles burn on her desk @rtenews. But Keelin would be first to say show goes on. We will make her proud. pic.twitter.com/FqQgZy97Ke
— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) February 8, 2020
RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, echoed those sentiments.
“Everybody at RTÉ is deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague and friend Keelin Shanley,” he said.
"A passionate and dedicated public service journalist, Keelin had an expertise that challenged and probed as well as an ease that endeared her to all.
"Most recently, Keelin co-presented the Six One News, watched by huge audiences daily. Keelin was incredibly popular with all her colleagues. But our loss is nothing compared to that of her much-loved family. "
Before all of the excitement of tuning in for the count I am taking a moment to think of the voices we will miss and of course my thoughts go to the insights of the erudite Noel Whelan and to Keelin Shanley who would calmly explain the state of play. #GE2020 #RIP pic.twitter.com/dV4hsUZ7RO
— Jillian van Turnhout CDir IDP-C (@JillianvT) February 9, 2020
President Michael D. Higgins was also among those to praise Keelin and the “great professionalism and dedication” she brought to her work.
"People all over Ireland will have been greatly saddened by the news of the death of Keelin Shanley, broadcaster and award-winning journalist,” he said.
"Driven by a strong commitment to social justice, she brought great professionalism and dedication to her work as a journalist.
"Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to her husband Conor, their children Lucy and Ben, her wider family and her wide circle of friends."