Journalist and author Louis McRedmond dies, aged 78

Tue, Jan 18, 2011, 00:00

THE DEATH has taken place of the well-known journalist and author Louis McRedmond, who was 78.

A native of Mitchelstown, Co Cork, Mr McRedmond was a former editor of the Irish Independent. He went on to become the first director of the course in journalism in Rathmines, Dublin in 1970.

Mr McRedmond went to Clongowes Wood College. He originally studied to become a barrister and was called to the bar in 1954. He joined the Irish Independentin 1958 and made his name in journalism covering the Second Vatican Council along with a cadre of other Irish journalists.

He served as the editor of the Irish Independentfrom 1968 to 1970, but left after a disagreement with the board about the direction of the newspaper.

Independent Newspapers’ managing editor Michael Denieffe described Mr McRedmond as one of the outstanding journalists of his generation and a doyen of religious affairs correspondents who understood the real importance of the Second Vatican Council before most people did.

From 1973 to 1986 he was the head of information at RTÉ in charge of its publications and its press office.

In later life he wrote a number of books including To The Greater Glory: A History of the Irish Jesuits, a book about John Henry Newman’s time in Ireland and Modern Irish Lives, the dictionary of modern Irish biography.

His son David McRedmond, who is the chief executive of TV3, said his father had been a family man who particularly treasured his Jesuit background.

He helped former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald to edit his autobiography All in a Lifein the early 1990s.

National Union of Journalists Irish secretary Séamus Dooley said generations of journalists had reason to be grateful to Mr McRedmond’s involvement with the College of Commerce in Rathmines.

“As director he helped shape the then one-year course at Rathmines and laid the foundation for journalism education in Ireland. He never lost his interest in education and in a diverse career as author, editor and head of publications and information at RTÉ maintained a strong interest in journalistic ethics,” he said.

RTÉ’s head of corporate communications Kevin Dawson said Mr McRedmond had contributed to the organisation through the breadth of his knowledge and experience and would be remembered as a man of warmth and of wisdom.

Mr McRedmond’s removal takes place to Holy Cross Church in Dundrum tomorrow at 5pm with funeral Mass on Thursday at 11.30am.

He is survived by his wife Maeve, his sons Michael and David, his daughters Anne and Elizabeth and his 13 grandchildren.