Former Olympic fencing star dies in Dublin
TRIBUTES WERE paid yesterday to former Irish Olympic fencing star and RTÉ veteran broadcaster Harry Thuillier snr.
Mr Thuillier of Delgany, Co Wicklow, was in his late 80s when he died yesterday after a long illness.
He was a pioneer of sponsored radio programmes in the 1950s and 1960s. Among the shows he presented were Come Fly with Mefor Jacob’s Biscuits in which he interviewed people travelling on Aer Lingus flights, Morning Melodyand the Tayto Quiz.
He also presented the Radio Éireann Junior Sports Magazineprogramme, which gave a first break to veteran sports broadcaster Jimmy Magee in 1956.
Magee described his former colleague as “innovative”, “energetic” and “full of life”. He was “a lovely broadcaster, with a friendly voice, a people’s man. Were he around now he would have been a super super star . . . ”
As a fencer, Thuillier represented Ireland in men’s foil at the Olympic Games at Helsinki in 1952 and Rome in 1960.
He was Irish champion for many years.
He is survived by his wife Frankie, sons Nikki and Ian, granddaughter Mirelle and her mother, Odna .
His late son Harry Thuillier jnr, a fine art photographer, was found dead in Milan central railway station in December 1997 aged 33.
Mr Thuillier’s funeral will take place at 11am on Saturday at St Mochonog’s Church, Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow.