‘A fine journalist of the old school’: Independent’s Dave Halloran dies aged 79

Tributes pour in for former deputy group news editor after sudden death

Popular newsman David Halloran (79) died suddenly on Sunday at Dublin's St Vincent's hospital following a fall at his home.

The former deputy group news editor at Independent Newspapers had been ill over recent months.

Greatly respected and held in deep affection by colleagues, his death prompted many warm tributes on social media.

Cathy Halloran, RTÉ midwest correspondent and niece of David Halloran, said he and her father, the late RTÉ journalist "Danno" (John Vincent), were members of a family of 10 who lived at Morrison Terrace in Ballina, Co Mayo.


Both began their journalism careers in Ballina, David at the Mayo News, before moving on to the Drogheda Independent newspaper. From Drogheda he moved to Independent Newspapers on Dublin's Middle Abbey Street in 1970, while Danno began working at RTÉ.

Described as "a kind, decent, fair man – sometimes a rarity in the world of journalism", David Halloran was "legendary", his former colleague Don Lavery said in a Facebook post.

In a similar tribute Seán O'Rourke, who retired from RTÉ last year, said Mr Halloran was "a very sound man", while Paddy Murray, a regular contributor to the Irish Times, said he was the "last of the three Indo desk from way back when, Seán Lynch, John Healy and Dave. Great days."

Michael Denieffe, former group news editor at Independent Newspapers, posted that he was "shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of a great colleague and friend". Former Irish Daily Mirror editor John Kierans said, "It is a terrible loss, he was a real gent and a great hack to work and deal with."

‘Fine journalist’

The Irish Times news editor Mark Hennessy described him as "a kind and decent man".

Former Irish Times news editor Miriam Donohoe said, "Dave was a great man and a fine journalist of the old school." She recalled how when she and colleague Clodagh Sheehy won a journalism award, he told them "to have a good meal out and put it on expenses".

They had a modest meal and when Halloran saw the receipt, he called her aside and told her that the next time she was told to have a great meal on expenses she should “do a better job of it!”

Former environment correspondent at the Irish Independent Treacy Hogan posted that "Dave was the nicest person in journalism. A gentleman full of fun and devilment." He continued: "This is shocking news, difficult to take in."

Irish Times contributor Marese McDonagh said: "He was one of the best. Can't believe Dave is gone." Donegal journalist Kathy Donaghy was "absolutely devastated to read this". She said, "Dave was the kindest, most decent person in journalism I have ever met."

Mr Halloran is survived by his wife, Mary, who he had been caring for in recent years, his son, Brendan, daughter, Catherine, and two remaining siblings, Mercy nun Sr Marie Celine in Athlone and Bernie Halloran in London.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times