Tributes paid following death of Irish businessman and broadcaster Sir Gerry Robinson, aged 72

Tributes paid following death of Irish businessman and broadcaster Sir Gerry Robinson, aged 72

DONEGAL born businessman and broadcaster Sir Gerry Robinson has died, aged 72, it was confimed last night.

The Irishman, who was born to an Irish father and Scottish mother in Dunfanaghy, was the ninth of 10 children.

He moved with his family to England in his early teens, where he would later embark on a career that saw him reach the highest heights of the television industry as well as the business sector.

Sir Gerry, who died at Letterkenny University Hospital in Donegal on Thursday, October 14, was a former chairman and chief executive of Granada TV.

His work in television saw him present a number of series for the BBC including I'll Show Them Who's Boss in 2004 and Can Gerry Robinson Fix The NHS? in 2007.

He was knighted in 2003 for services to the arts and business.

In 2011, he presented the BBC television show Can't Take It with You, which helped people to write their wills.

During his lengthy career Sir Gerry served as chairman of drinks giant Allied Domecq, BSkyB and ITN as well as the Arts Council England.

He joined Granada in 1991 as chief executive and was chairman from 1996 until 2001.

In a statement the Letterkenny Chamber paid tribute to the late businessman, tweeting that they were “saddened” to learn of his death.

“Gerry was a proud Donegal man well known for his business acumen,” they said.

“Our sympathies go out to his wife Lady Heather and family,” they added.

SDLP Councillor John Gallen also paid tribute, stating: “So sorry to hear that Gerry Robinson has passed away. Always enjoyed him sharing his knowledge, guidance and advice on programmes like Fix the NHS asnd Care Homes.”

The Arts Council England tweeted their sadness at the passing of a former chairman.

“He was the chair of Arts Council England from 1998 to 2004,” they tweeted, adding: “We offer our condolences to his family and friends.”

Sir Gerry lived with his wife Lady Heather at Oakfield Park in Raphoe, Co. Donegal.

The estate, which features a botanical garden and railway, underwent a major renovation after being purchased by Robinson in 1996, who then opened it up for the public to enjoy.