Tributes paid after journalist Aideen Kennedy, 43, passes away hours after revealing illness

Tributes paid after journalist Aideen Kennedy, 43, passes away hours after revealing illness

TRIBUTES have been paid to a journalist from Northern Ireland, who passed away just hours after revealing she had a terminal illness.

Aideen Kennedy, 43, was a familiar face on news bulletins on UTV, the ITV region covering Northern Ireland.

On Tuesday, the mother-of-two revealed she had been in hospital for more than two weeks and had undergone several blood transfusions.

She then tweeted on Friday morning that she was 'going home to die' before passing away later that day.

"So life has not gone well and I am as sick as I was as when I went in to hospital so essentially going home to die but getting palliative care," she shared on Twitter.

"The kids know. If you ever come across them, will you [keep] an eye out for them, they are the kindest, sweetest most thoughtful kiddies."

Tributes have since poured in for Ms Kennedy, with her former employer UTV describing her as 'a truly gifted reporter'.

Suzanne Breen of the Belfast Telegraph said Ms Kennedy, whose three siblings have all passed away, 'lit up every room'.

"I knew Aideen from UTV," tweeted Ms Breen. "She lit up every room she was in.

"I did the same journalism course as her sister Fiona.

"Aideen's mum taught me at primary school. She's now lost all 4 children.

"What tragedy to befall one family. It puts everything into perspective."

DUP MLA Emma Little-Pengelly said Ms Kennedy was a 'beautiful, funny, kind friend'.

"I will miss her terribly," she added.

"We met 22 years ago when we shared a room for the summer in DC and became firm friends."

SDLP councillor Séamas de Faoite said Ms Kennedy was 'a bright light who had been through so much'.

Meanwhile, fellow journalist Leona O'Neill said 'the world is a darker place without her light'.

"She was such a kind, loving, caring soul who bore so much heartache in life," said Ms O'Neill.

"My heart breaks for her Jacob and Eva and her Mammy and Daddy."

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Ms Kennedy's brother, Rory, died in a road accident when he was just one.

It added that her older sister Fiona died of cancer in 2016 at the age of 44, less than a year after her younger brother Dara, 35, died from a brain tumour.

Ms Kennedy is survived by her two children, Jacob and Eva, and her parents, Noel and Maura.