Taoiseach Brian Cowen tonight led tributes to Vincent Doyle, the former editor of the Irish Independent who died today.
The veteran journalist was one of the longest-serving editors in the Irish newspaper industry, heading the biggest selling daily newspaper in the country.
The Taoiseach said Mr Doyle, who died suddenly at the Blackrock Clinic after a short illness, believed in getting the story and in getting it right.
“Vinnie Doyle was a legendary figure in Irish media, someone whose traditional commitment to news gathering and values won him the respect of his peers in journalism and beyond that in the worlds of politics, business and sport,” he said.
Mr Doyle, who was in his 70s, began his newspaper career in 1959 when he joined the Irish Press as copyboy. Over the years he worked as a film critic and feature writer before he became a freelance journalist in the UK.
He returned to Ireland and joined the Independent Group in 1969, working for both the Evening Herald and Irish Independent.
He was appointed editor of the Irish Independent from 1981 until his retirement in 2005.
Mr Doyle is survived by his wife Gertrude and sons Garret, Conor and Vinny, daughters-in-law Angie and Marion and five grandchildren.
Gavin O’Reilly, chief executive of Independent news and Media, said Mr Doyle was a legend who embodied all that is great about Irish journalism.
“In a distinguished career that spanned nearly 40 years at Independent, Vinnie was ever faithful to his brief – ensuring fairness, accuracy and excellence at all times,” said Mr O’Reilly.
“A formidable and no-nonsense sort of editor, his ever keen news sense, creative flair and constant pursuit of the truth enlivened both the Evening Herald and the Irish Independent, making them the number one brands that they are today.”
Political leaders also paid tribute to Mr Doyle.
Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said Mr Doyle was a courageous and innovative editor.
“Many of the best journalists in the country cut their professional teeth under his leadership.” he said.
“He was admired by colleagues not just for his skills as an editor, but also because he had worked his way up through the ranks, carrying out almost every task possible in the production of a newspaper.”
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said Mr Doyle was a giant in the media world who personified the term newspaper man.
“Tenacious when pursuing a story and dedicated in the newsroom, he rose through the ranks to become one of the most powerful and respected figures in Irish journalism,” said Mr Kenny.
John Gormley, Green Party leader, added: “Though he shunned the limelight, the papers he produced, day upon day, showed a huge commitment to news gathering and news presentation characterised by immediacy, accuracy and simplicity. It all meant that ’Vinnie Doyle’s Indo’ was often seen as the voice of middle Ireland.”
Mr Doyle’s funeral mass will be held at 10am on Thursday in the Annunciation Church, Rathfarnham to Kilmashogue Cemetery.