09 February 2020 06:20
RTÉ presenter and Cystic Fibrosis Ireland ambassador Keelin Shanley by Cystic Fibrosis Ireland of Cystic Fibrosis National Awareness Week (April 11-17) and 65 Roses Day. 65 Roses Day takes place on April 15 and sees volunteers selling purple roses nationwide to raise €65,000 for services for people with cystic fibrosis. COLLEAGUES, friends and politicians have paid tribute to RTÉ broadcaster Keelin Shanley, who passed away peacefully this afternoon aged 51. The award winning journalist, who became a Six One News anchor in 2018, had been dealing with cancer for some time. Expand Close Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry on the newsroom couch. "People all over Ireland will have been greatly saddened by the news of the death of Keelin Shanley, broadcaster and award-winning journalist," he said in a statement.
"Driven by a strong commitment to social justice, she brought great professionalism and dedication to her work as a journalist. "Keelin was an extremely skilled broadcaster, flawlessly moving from programmes like Crimecall and Morning Edition to co-presenting RTE's flagship Six One news; her warmth and compassion always to the fore. Expand Close Keelin Shanley on RTÉ Crimecall Andres Poveda / Facebook "I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to her husband Conor, their children Lucy and Ben, her family, friends and all her colleagues and friends in RTÉ. Ms Shanley became an ambassador for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland in 2014, and Chief Executive of the organisation, Philip Watt, described her as a "wonderful spokesperson" for the community. "Cystic Fibrosis Ireland today mourns the death of Keelin Shanley who has been a long-standing ambassador for our 65 Roses campaign.
Keelin always gave generously of her time over the past six years, and was a wonderful spokesperson for, and friend to, the CF community. "On behalf of the cystic fibrosis community in Ireland, we wish to extend our deep appreciation of Keelin's constant support, and express our condolences to Keelin's husband Conor, children Lucy and Ben, and to her family, friends and colleagues." RTÉ Morning Ireland presenter Audrey Carville described it as "the worst possible news" on Twitter earlier today. "Our beautiful friend and colleague Keelin Shanley has died. Expand Close RTE News anchors, Keelin Shanley and Catrions Perry pictured in the new RTE News TV studi at RTE Donnybrook. "I met Keelin last year on the Six One. We instantly struck up a friendship, based on our experience of living with Stage 4 cancer," she said on Twitter. In a statement this afternoon, Managing Director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs, Jon Williams said: "Keelin was the best of us - and we are heartbroken. Her legacy of over 20 years journalism with RTÉ saw her help tell the stories of so many often marginalised. Expand Close RTE's Keelin Shanley (left) with co-anchor Caitriona Perry / Facebook The fact that she presented our flagship Six One News while dealing with cancer is inspirational in itself and so typical of Keelin's determination to live life to the full. Our hearts go out to Conor, Lucy and Ben and her wider family. "Most recently, Keelin co-presented the Six One News, watched by huge audiences daily. My sincere sympathies go to Conor, Lucy, and Ben, to Keelin's extended family, and to her wide circle of friends." Having graduated from Trinity College with a degree in biochemistry, Keelin worked as a researcher in the Department of Pharmacology in the University of Bologna. She then returned to Ireland and started working with RTÉ, presenting a number of science and technology in the late 1990s. Keelin joined Prime Time in 1999 as a reporter and presenter, and in more recent times, Keelin presented Morning Edition, The Consumer Show, Crimecall and The Irish Book Awards on RTÉ One. Her death comes just two years after Ms Shanley was announced as the new presenter alongside former Washington Correspondent Caitríona Perry, where they became the first female duo to host the flagship show. Speaking at the time of the announcement RTE bosses described Ms. Shanley as someone who would bring her "intellect, competitive drive, and focus on storytelling" to RTÉ's Six One News. Working as a reporter and presenter with Prime Time over ten years, she made a number of award-winning documentaries. She also presented special budget and election coverage, Morning Edition, The Consumer Show and documentary Hacked on RTÉ One, as well as Morning Ireland, Today with Sean O'Rourke show and The Late Debate for RTÉ Radio 1. Ms Shanley also worked as a news reporter for Radio France International and for CNN World Report. In 2011, the award winning journalist revealed she had been diagnosed with cancer and had undergone a mastectomy. Ms Shanley's mother also died of ovarian cancer a year after she was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 59. Speaking about the tragedy at the time, the journalist thanked the thousands of volunteers across Ireland who raised money for the Irish Cancer Society's annual Daffodil Day fundraising campaign. Ms. Shanley herself had been diagnosed with cancer on 25 February 2011, the same day as the general election. RTÉ broadcaster Keelin Shanley has died aged 51 following an illness. The award-winning journalist "had been dealing with cancer for some time", RTÉ said in a statement. "With over 20 years' experience as a journalist and broadcaster, Keelin was the much-loved and respected presenter of RTÉ's Six One News," it said. Jon Williams, managing director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs paid tribute to Shanley: "Keelin was the best of us – and we are heartbroken. From Prime Time Investigates to Morning Edition, Morning Ireland to the Six One News, there wasn't a corner of RTÉ News and Current Affairs untouched by Keelin's fearless, generous, and passionate journalism. The fact that she presented our flagship Six One News while dealing with cancer is inspirational in itself and so typical of Keelin's determination to live life to the full. "Our hearts go out to Conor, Lucy and Ben and her wider family. The death has been announced of RTÉ broadcaster Keelin Shanley following an illness. She passed away peacefully this afternoon, aged 51 — RTÉ News (@rtenews) February 8, 2020 She began working with RTÉ in the late 1990s, presenting a number of science and technology programmes. She later joined Prime Time and more recently presented Morning Edition, The Consumer Show, Crimecall and The Irish Book Awards on RTÉ One. She also worked as a radio presenter across several programmes on RTÉ Radio 1: Morning Ireland; News at One; Today with Sean O'Rourke; and Late Debate. In a statement on Saturday, President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to the late broadcaster: "People all over Ireland will have been greatly saddened by the news of the death of Keelin Shanley, broadcaster and award-winning journalist. "Driven by a strong commitment to social justice, she brought great professionalism and dedication to her work as a journalist. Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to her husband Conor, their children Lucy and Ben, her wider family and her wide circle of friends." Dee Forbes, RTÉ director general, said: "Everybody at RTÉ is deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague and friend Keelin Shanley. A passionate and dedicated public service journalist, Keelin had an expertise that challenged and probed as well as an ease that endeared her to all. "Most recently, Keelin co-presented the Six One News, watched by huge audiences daily. My sincere sympathies go to Conor, Lucy, and Ben, to Keelin's extended family, and to her wide circle of friends." Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists, Séamus Dooley, said Shanley's "untimely death is a great loss firstly to her family, but also to public service broadcasting. He said: "She had a real passion for news, a respect for facts and an ability as an interviewer to get to the nub of a story.