Tributes paid to journalist and broadcaster Pat McAuliffe who passed away

Tributes have been paid to sports journalist and broadcaster Pat McAuliffe, who died suddenly at the age of 60.

Mr McAuliffe reported on Gaelic games, football, rugby and other sports for RTÉ across the south of the country, and also filed reports for The Echo newspaper.

The Cork native, who died on Sunday, had attended an under-19 football match between Cobh Ramblers and Cork City earlier that day and was due to referee a Munster Senior League fixture tonight.

Tributes were paid by journalists and clubs from across a number of codes to the popular reporter.

Irish Examiner sports editor, Tony Leen, said Mr McAuliffe was “a veritable bundle of energy around Pairc Ui Rinn, Turner's Cross and Pairc Ui Chaoimh”.

“I first met Pat when he was in charge of the Cork media soccer team, a tough, no-nonsense central defender who didn't stand on ceremony,” Mr Leen said.

Before multi-purpose journalists became what is now the norm, he was everywhere with the mic from Turner's Cross to Pairc Ui Rinn to Musgrave Park, always busy, always rushing at the final whistle to get the first of the reaction. Straight as a ruler, it will be very strange being around the press areas in those venues now without Pat McAuliffe.

"There's genuine shock and sadness in the sports departments of Examiner and the Echo - for whom he filed two pieces from the weekend only last night - that we won't see him bustling down the steps past us anymore. Our heartfelt condolences to his grieving family, friends and colleagues,” Mr Leen said.

Cork GAA said Mr McAuliffe was a regular visitor to Pairc Ui Rinn and Pairc Ui Chaoimh, while Munster rugby described him as “a gentleman and a hugely popular presence in press boxes in Munster & across the country”.

Pat McAuliffe interviews Tipperary footballer Philip Austin in 2014
Pat McAuliffe interviews Tipperary footballer Philip Austin in 2014

A number of League of Ireland clubs posted their messages of condolences online. Cork City FC said all at the club are “deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Pat McAuliffe”, and that he covered the club’s games at all levels for many years, while Cobh Ramblers described him as “a firm friend of the club”.

Irish international footballer, David Meyler, said he was sad to hear of the death of a “true gentleman”.

Former Irish international rugby player Ronan O’Gara said the sudden passing of Mr McAuliffe is “terribly sad news” and that he was “a really decent man”.

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