Friends, colleagues and family bid farewell to the late, great Larry Masterson

‘The expression he used always say to me was, “Unto yourself be true” and it’s always been, and always will be, my mantra’

A Horse With No Name was playing as the late Larry Masterson’s wicker coffin was carried into the Victorian Chapel at Mount Jerome in Harold’s Cross, Dublin on Thursday.

Masterson worked in RTÉ television for many years as a producer on its flagship shows, notably The Late Late Show. The service was a celebration of his personal and professional life, with many former RTÉ colleagues in attendance.

“The Horse With No Name was his favourite song,” said his daughter, Kerri Masterson in her tribute to a “dad” who was “never dull, always unexpected, and full of surprises”.

She spoke of their many happy summer holidays on the family boat at Lough Derg, with her sister Tara and mother Hazel.


“The expression he used always say to me was, ‘Unto yourself be true’ and it’s always been, and always will be, my mantra.”

Producer John McColgan, Masterson’s friend of 50 years, told the congregation: “Today’s service is neither humanist nor religious. It’s show business.”

McColgan, who had collaborated with Masterson about his wishes for the service in recent weeks, said it was “his last show as executive producer”.

“Larry’s life was infused with love,” he said.

McColgan read out a tribute from broadcaster Mike Murphy, who was unable to attend. “Larry was one of the most individualist characters who inhabited the bustling RTÉ campus in the ‘80s.”

Newstalk presenter and former Late Late Show host Pat Kenny said of hearing the news of Masterson’s death after a short illness: “I felt the world had been somehow skewed on its axis.”

Kenny went on to say: “My years on the Late Late Show with Larry were the best and happiest years of my television career … he often said to me when both of us were out of RTÉ, ‘didn’t we have the best of it? Weren’t they the best years of RTÉ?’ And he was saying that long before the current malaise hit the station that we all loved.”

Former RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy, now working in London for Virgin Radio, appeared via a short pre-recorded video. He said Masterson was “a tour de force, a human dynamo, and a pleasure to work with”.

RTÉ presenter Brendan O’Connor said: “Most people who work in the media aren’t very nice, or are pretending to be nice. Larry was the opposite. Larry was a really nice guy with a big heart, but he didn’t want anyone to know that.”

Former colleague Dolores Comerford recalled a generous man who told his co-workers who “worked behind the cameras, that we were superstars … He loved his people, he loved his job, he loved his family, he loved his boat and he was a lovely friend.”

Interspersed with the tributes were slide shows of photo montages and video clips from some of the many shows Masterson had produced.

John Spillane sang The Dance of the Cherry Trees and All The Ways You Wander. Jerry Fish played True Love Finds You in the End and played out the congregation at the end of the service with True Friends.

Masterson’s wife Hazel, and daughters Kerri and Tara, led the mourners, along with sons-in-law Alin and Conor, sisters Anne and Patricia, brother-in-law Roy and sisters-in-law Frances and Emily. He is also survived by three grandsons, Spencer, Ryan and Dylan.

Other mourners included producer Moya Doherty; former RTÉ director-general Cathal Goan; presenter Miriam O’Callaghan; entertainer Adele King (Twink); former head of current affairs at RTÉ Eugene Murray; author and former RTÉ producer Julian Vignoles; and Alice Leahy of Trust.

Rosita Boland

Rosita Boland

Rosita Boland is Senior Features Writer with The Irish Times. She was named NewsBrands Ireland Journalist of the Year for 2018