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Very sad to hear of the passing of RTE’s Colm Murray after battling Motor Neuron Disease, R.I.P. A wonderful broadcaster and the voice of a generation for sports broadcasting and in particular Horse Racing and his coverage of the Cheltenham Festival, RTE Documentary below, For more on Motor Neuron Disease logon to http://www.imnda.ie and reports on http://www.rte.ie
RTE Documentary on Colm Murrays battle with Motor Neuron Disease – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXxUnuAJo7Y
30 July 2013: The death has taken place of the RTÉ journalist and broadcaster Colm Murray.
Colm joined RTÉ in October 1978, where he took up a post as continuity announcer. In the course of his sports broadcasting career, he has covered a large number of national and international events, including the Cheltenham Festival since 1990 and the Olympics and Paralympics in Sydney, However, he regarded his assignment with Jack Charlton’s Republic of Ireland soccer team in Italia Novanta (the 1990 World Cup in Italy) as the highlight of his sports broadcasting career.
Although able to cross all sporting codes, Colm will forever be associated with Horse Racing where his knowledge of the sport combined with his exuberant personality made the sport accessible to all. From Cheltenham to Punchestown, Gowran to Fairyhouse Colm was the voice and face of racing for hundreds of thousands of race goers.
Colm also pioneered coverage of the Paralympics and Special Olympics when assigned to both by RTÉ, bringing a prominence to both codes which they had not previously enjoyed. His warmth and ability to put athletes at ease saw him embraced by successive Irish paralympic teams as an ambassador each Olympiad.
In March 2010 Colm was diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease. He continued to work in the RTÉ newsroom and embarked on a series of in-depth radio profiles of luminaries such as Alex Ferguson, Brian O’Driscoll and Johnny Murtagh. His journalistic professionalism and desire to assist others also saw him embark on an RTÉ documentary to highlight MND and assist in developing treatment for those diagnosed.
Colm is survived by his wife Ann, and daughters Patricia and Kate.
Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport, RTÉ paid tribute today: “It’s a sad sad day for all of us that knew and worked with Colm. He had an infectious laugh, a real sense of fun and a little mischief that has been, and will always be, missed in this office. His commitment and love for his work was there for all to see and he will be long remembered for his kindness, decency and caring of those with whom he came into contact. Our thoughts are with his wife Ann and all his family”.
Noel Curran, Director General of RTÉ, said: “We were all really saddened this morning to hear of the passing of our colleague and friend Colm Murray. The courage that Colm has shown over these past couple of years has been truly extraordinary. The news is all the more poignant given the recent sudden passing of his sister Cathy, who also worked in our newsroom. He will rightly be remembered by the horse racing community for his enthusiasm and authority. For all who worked with him in RTÉ he will be remembered as a wonderful colleague and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with Colm’s family today.”
Statement by Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish secretary, on the death of Colm Murray.
Colm Murray was a remarkable figure in Irish journalism. In a profession characterised by professional rivalry and jealousy Colm had no enemies. He was admired for his wit, his humour and his generosity of spirit. His stoical acceptance of his illness has served as a powerful inspiration and it is a cruel irony that someone who loved life with such passion should have been struck with such a debilitating illness.
He had a wide and eclectic circle of friends. Colm loved horse racing and was most at home on the race track but his interests extended beyond sport to current affairs, music and culture.
Few could match his encyclopaedic knowledge of rural Ireland and he had a special affection for the Irish midlands, regularly giving of his time and talents to support community initiatives, especially in Westmeath and in Offaly, where he began his teaching career.
Colm was a committed member of the Dublin broadcasting branch of the NUJ and over the years his wise counsel was available to union officers.
On behalf of the NUJ, I extend sympathy to his wife Anne, daughters Kate and Patricia and to Colm’s sister Mary.
Wikipedia entry on Colm Murray
Colm Murray (born 22 March 1952, died 30 July 2013) was an Irish broadcaster, newsreader and sports journalist. He had worked with RTÉ since 1978 and is best known for his reports on horse racing matters.
Born on Church Street, Moate, County Westmeath where his parents ran the local petrol station and newsagent, Murray was the eldest of four, with three younger sisters and an older brother. The youngest, Patricia, died from a tumour when she was just six years old in 1969. Murray was educated at the Convent of Mercy national school, Blessed Oliver Plunkett Boys’ National School and the Carmelite College. He subsequently attended University College Galway where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in English, French and History. He later qualified as a secondary school teacher from Maynooth University and spent six years teaching in Athlone, Tullamore and Ballymun.
In 1978 Murray responded to a newspaper advert seeking a continuity announcer for state broadcaster RTÉ. His application was successful and he began his presenting career onHospital Requests on RTÉ Radio.
After six years as a continuity announcer and radio presenter, Murray joined RTÉ News as a full-time newscaster, working alongside figures such as Maurice O’Doherty, Charles Mitchel, Ann Doyle and Don Cockburn. In 1989 he moved into the area of sports coverage where he became a sportscaster, sports reporter and sports presenter, sometimes out in the field but usually in the studio.
In April 2010 Murray was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. For his contribution to the study of MND and his courage through diversity, Murray was presented with a People of the Year Award in September 2012. He died on 30th July 2013