Funeral details confirmed following sudden death of Irish broadcaster Deirdre Purcell

Funeral details confirmed following sudden death of Irish broadcaster Deirdre Purcell

TRIBUTES have been paid following the sudden death of Irish broadcaster and author Deirdre Purcell.

The 77-year-old died “suddenly, in the wonderful care of the doctors and nursing staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda on Monday, February 13,” her family have confirmed.

Dublin-born, the former actress went on to forge a successful career as a journalist, broadcaster and novelist over the decades, publishing more than 20 books.

Ms Purcell was the presenter for What It Says in the Papers on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland and was the first woman appointed as a staff newsreader on RTÉ's Nine News.

Leading the tributes to the popular Irishwoman, President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said: “In a distinguished career, Deirdre left a singular contribution in all of the different aspects of literature and broadcasting to which she turned her many talents – from her work as an actress in the Abbey Theatre, through her award-winning print journalism and time as the first female anchor of RTÉ’s Nine O’Clock news, and on to her critically acclaimed creative work in fiction.”

He added: “She will be remembered by colleagues and friends for her warm and creative presence.

“I particularly recall one afternoon where Deirdre interviewed Brendan Kennelly and myself for the Sunday Tribune, the attention to detail which she gave to such interviews was indicative of the skill with which she went about her work and has been often remarked upon by her many admirers.”

Ms Purcell leaves behind husband Kevin Healy, her sons Adrian and Simon Weckler, grandchildren and wider family members.

Funeral Mass takes place at 11.30am at Our Lady of Victories Church, Ballymun Road in Dublin on Thursday, February 16, followed by private cremation in Glasnevin Cemetery.