'A glint never far from his eye': Tributes paid to former Examiner news editor Donal Musgrave

'A glint never far from his eye': Tributes paid to former Examiner news editor Donal Musgrave

Former Irish Examiner and Irish Times journalist Donal Musgrave, who has died at the age of 78.

Tributes have been paid to former news editor and leader writer of the Irish Examiner, Donal Musgrave, who has died, aged 78.

Mr Musgrave, who lived in Inniscarra, Co Cork, and who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease about five years ago, died on St Stephen’s Day.

Former Irish Examiner editor, Tim Vaughan, led tributes to Mr Musgrave, whose career in print journalism spanned some 54-years.

“Donal was a true pro, the consummate newspaper man, with a brilliant nose for a great story and the competitive edge to make sure he got it first,” he said.

He was so wise and talented, and sharp as a tack. 

"But he was also very funny and great company with a glint never far from his eye - and always went out of his way to be generous, and encouraging of younger journalists in any way he could.” 

President Michael D Higgins also paid tribute to the journalist, praising his professionalism. 

"Not only his colleagues in the Irish Examiner, but his many friends in the media and all those he dealt with in his career in journalism of over 54 years will have heard with great sadness of the passing of journalist, feature writer and news editor Donal Musgrave.

"His work spanned a range of titles that make up the history of Irish journalism.

"Recognised as a mentor to many in journalism, he will be remembered for a professionalism that included a kindness and a deep concern for the issues on which he reported.

"May I offer my condolences to his wife Shirley, to their children and family, and to his colleagues and friends"

Mr Musgrave's career began on London’s Fleet Street in the early 1960s where he wrote for the Catholic Herald and The Irish Press.

He married Shirley Tait in London in November 1967, before the couple moved to Dublin, and later to Cork, partly in pursuit of what his niece, Catherine Foley, described as their dream to buy a cottage by water within a quarter of an hour of a city.

In 1969, the couple moved into Coolyduff Cottage on the banks of the Lee, where Mr Musgrave worked as Munster Correspondent for The Irish Times, The Sunday Tribune, and later for the Cork Examiner, covering news, politics, energy and the environment.

He covered the Claudia gun-running story in 1973, the 1979 Whiddy Island tragedy and the 1985 Air India disaster, and went on to become news editor and later, the chief leader writer of the Examiner.

After his retirement from the Irish Examiner in July 2007, Mr Musgrave continued to write obituaries for The Irish Times and leaders for the Examiner, and pursued his love of angling.

However, in May 2017, he wrote about how the onset of Parkinson’s had forced him first to give up tying salmon flies, and later, to give up angling altogether.

Mr Musgrave is survived by his wife, Shirley, his children, Katie and Darragh, son-in-law Paul Galligan, daughter-in-law Emer Maher, and his five grandsons – Oisín, Ronan, Fionn, Aaron and Cian.

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