‘A giant among journalists’: A minute’s silence observed in Dáil for Michael O’Regan

The former Irish Times correspondent was remembered as ‘one of our pre-eminent and much-loved political journalists’ renowned for his meticulous research

A minute’s silence was observed in the Dáil on Tuesday afternoon to remember former Irish Times journalist Michael O’Regan, who died in recent days.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid tribute to Mr O’Regan at the beginning of Dáil proceedings, along with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, Labour Leader Ivana Bacik, Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns, Independent Kerry TDs Michael and Danny Healy-Rae, and Education Minister Norma Foley.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said Mr O’Regan was “one of our pre-eminent and much-loved political journalists” renowned for his meticulous research, his encyclopedic knowledge and his innate sense of decency and fairness.

“He covered some of the most momentous events of our times and many people, including fellow journalists, benefited over the years from his wisdom, his kindness and his great sense of humour,” he said.


Mr Ó Fearghaíl said he wished to extend the sympathies of all TDs present to Mr O’Regan’s family, colleagues and many friends.

Michael Healy-Rae said Mr O’Regan’s voice on a Friday morning on Radio Kerry was “one of the most sought after political events in Kerry”.

“His voice will be remembered forever,” he said. “He was an authoritative figure. When Michael O’Regan spoke, people listened to what he had to say. So many people have told me over the last number of days that they’re devastated they won’t hear his beautiful voice on Radio Kerry again.”

His brother Danny said everyone was so saddened by his passing in Kerry and he was a “giant among journalists”.

“His interpretation, his analysis of what was going on politically, was listened to and adhered to because people believed in him, he was honest, he had his homework done,” he said.

“He had a vast amount of political knowledge, going back to the foundation of the State ... This world will be a lesser place for his departure.”

Ms Foley, also a TD for Kerry, said Mr O’Regan was much-revered, much-respected and much-loved in Kerry and beyond.

“He was the consummate journalist, he was well-researched, well-informed and he was impartial, he was incredibly fair,” she said

“He was a man who was immensely and immeasurably proud of his Kerry credentials and he wore them very much so on his sleeve ... We will miss him greatly in Kerry.”

A native of Co Kerry, Mr O’Regan covered politics since the 1980s. Since his retirement from The Irish Times in 2019 he contributed occasional articles and was a regular voice on television and radio, including on Radio Kerry, to which he had a weekly radio column.

President Michael D Higgins led tributes to Mr O’Regan, describing him as “always warm and engaging in conversation”.

“He was incredibly courteous, and a perfect judge of when an injection of the humour, upon which he drew from his proud Kerry background, was needed,” Mr Higgins said.

He paid tribute to his journalism, saying his “extensive research” ensured he had a full understanding of the topics which he wrote about for The Irish Times.

Mr O’Regan’s funeral mass will take place at the Holy Cross Church in Dundrum on Saturday morning followed by a cremation ceremony at Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold’s Cross.

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Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times