The Lord Mayor of Cork led tributes to popular radio journalist and sports reporter, Jim Horgan, who died suddenly following a short illness.
Mr Horgan, who was raised close to Musgrave Park on the southside of the city but who lived in Ballyvolane, died in the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) on Monday. He was 63. He is survived by his wife Mary, their children, Damien, Barry, Jerry and Catriona, and grandchildren.
Mr Horgan, who supplied reports to Cork’s 96FM and 103FM for more than a decade, was widely respected for his coverage of the meetings of Cork city and county councils, and in particular for his sports coverage, particularly schools, club and provincial rugby, as well as basketball and athletics.
Shocked and very saddened to learn of the death last night of radio journalist, sports reporter and all-round good guy Jim Horgan of @Corks96FM. My sincere condolences to his family, to his friends and to all of his colleagues #Cork #RIP pic.twitter.com/p1mc3g0i9B— Eoin English (@EoinBearla) January 8, 2019
A former Pfizer employee, he was the curator of the military museum in Collins Barracks until about two years ago, before he began to focus full-time on broadcasting. He was filing match updates from his hospital bed last weekend.
As news of his death emerged, tributes poured in, including official tributes from both Cork city and county councils.
Sad to get the call last night that my friend & colleague Jim Horgan had passed away. He loved the banter every weekend when going through items of sport for @Corks96FM & @Corkcoco meetings for @C103Cork Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam R.I.P. Jim pic.twitter.com/r1bcsbjjLV— JP McNamara (@JP_Cork) January 8, 2019
Lord Mayor Cllr Mick Finn said: “Jim approached illness the same way he approached his work - with a smile on his face.
“He was a very popular member of the press corps in Cork. He treated all councillors with great respect and he will be a huge loss to the workings of the city council. We will miss him."
His colleagues at Cork’s 96FM described Mr Horgan as a true gentleman who always came to work with a smile and a sense of humour, and that as well as losing a colleague, they have lost a dear friend.
Opinion Line presenter PJ Coogan recalled how Mr Horgan opened the military museum specially for his son, James, who missed an organised school visit.
"I will never forget that personal kindness," he said.
Sad to hear of the passing of Jim Horgan of @Corks96FM
Always obliging , fun & positive Jim was a pleasure to meet professionally or personally.
Rest Peacefully JimJanuary 8, 2019
Trevor Welch, who presents the station’s The Score sports progamme, described Mr Horgan as one of the nicest and genuine sports broadcasters in the business.
Munster Rugby described him as a “voice for grassroots rugby”, Highfield Rugby Club described him as “an absolute gentleman to the core and always great company” and Cork Constitution described him as “an absolute gentleman and a great supporter of club and schools rugby in Munster”.
Munster Hockey said Mr Horgan “put hockey back on the radio waves”.
We have lost a great friend and colleague Jim Horgan. My deepest sympathies to his wife Mary and family. Jim was a legend, so willing and helpful. Always smiling. RIP Jim ❤️ pic.twitter.com/lthD67FuO9— Mairead Twohig (@Mairead2hig) January 8, 2019
Tony O’Connell, a key organiser of the Cork City Sports and a good friend of Mr Horgans, said he loved the sports he covered.
“His pure dedication to what he was covering set him apart. And his friendliness. He was a great friend,” he said.
Kieran McGeary, the group station director of Cork's 96FM and C103, said Jim’s radio family is still coming to terms with the news.
“He was a great character and a versatile reporter,” he said.
“He was always eager to volunteer on our annual Giving for Living Radiothon.
“The many deserved tributes being paid to Jim are a great comfort to his colleagues -particularly those who worked closest with him.
“Our thoughts are with his wife, Mary, and his family at this difficult time."