TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of Jim Fahy – a long-term journalist and broadcaster who passed away at his Galway home this month.
The 75-year-old was RTÉ’s longest serving regional correspondent when he retired from his Western News Correspondent role in 2011.
He died on Friday, January 14, at his home in Tuam, following a short illness.
President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, was among the first to pay tribute to the lifelong newsman.
“The death of broadcaster and documentary maker Jim Fahy will be heard with sadness by viewers of RTÉ and those in the communities of the west of Ireland to which he brought for decades the television and radio crews of RTÉ,” Mr Higgins said.
“Jim was one of Ireland’s finest broadcasters, a fact attested to by the over forty national and international awards which he won over the course of his outstanding career.
“For generations of people he was a familiar voice, indelibly associated with the reporting of events across the west of Ireland during his 38 years as RTÉ’s first Western News Correspondent.”
He added: “What he brought to his work was a high standard of journalism crafted in Tuam in a newspaper atmosphere that was steeped in respect for history.
“He delivered his reports in a restrained courteous way that reflected all of this and so much more – a respect for narrative that saw no tension between accuracy and elegance of form.”
Mr Higgins went on to recall the many years he knew Mr Fahy while he served as a TD for the Galway West constituency.
“On the occasion of Jim’s final day in RTÉ on 31 December 2011, I suggested that every single thing that happened in the west of Ireland - be it political, cultural or international – the first thing people would say to each other was ‘have you contacted Jim Fahy?’, thus as a politician serving the people of the west of Ireland I had the pleasure of a long association with him,” Mr Higgins confirmed.
“Among many other pieces to camera with Jim, one I recall is a documentary on the island of Montserrat for RTÉ on the strong connections between that island and ours,” he added.
“I had in 1986 presented a documentary in Montserrat for Channel 4 and was later interviewed by Jim for RTÉ in 2000 for Dust in the Wind, which was a documentary on the devastations of the eruption of the volcano.
“This interest was indicative of a man with horizons extending beyond the borders of his distinct reporting ‘patch’.”
Mr Fahy’s funeral Mass took place at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Tuam on January 17, where his son Shane and daughter Aideen paid tribute to their father.
They also thanked those who had cared for him during his recent ill health.
He was laid to rest in Kilbannon Cemetery.