Journalist Con Houlihan (86) dies
The death has been announced of the renowned sports journalist Con Houlihan. He was 86.
Houlihan died at St James's Hospital in Dublin yesterday morning after a long illness.
He enjoyed a career in journalism spanning more than 60 years. In 2010, he was given an All Ireland Inspirational Life award for his 'unique and vocal insight into all aspects of Irish society'.
President Michael D Higgins said Houlihan was a most original writer, with a unique style based on his extensive knowledge of literature, politics, life and sport.
"As a sportswriter, who engaged us over the decades, he had that special quality and ability to identify with the passion, pain and celebration of Irish community life,? the President said. ?I express my deepest sympathy, on behalf of Sabina and myself, to his family and friends."
Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan said Houlihan had been "a giant of journalism and commentary" and he offered his condolences to his family and many friends.
"Con Houlihan was a great sports writer who brought the game to life for his readers and was a towering figure in sports journalism for many decades. It is fair to say that he raised the bar for sports journalism, often referencing things outside of sport - like art or literature - to add to his commentary on a particular game," Mr Deenihan said.
He noted the late Irish Press journalist had also been a respected writer and critic on the arts. "Though he had been ill in the last number of years he kept writing until very recently."
The Minister said he got to know Houlihan personally when he was involved, with Maurice Healy, in the making of a documentary about him. "Whilst I had always known him as sports and arts commentator, at that time I saw at first hard his warmth, wit, intellect, talent for observation, and his deep love of his native county Kerry."
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said he was saddened to hear of Houlihan's death, describing him as "a great Irishman".
"Con Houlihan was quite simply one of the greatest sporting writers and commentators the country has seen. His talent and contribution to sport over many years was enormous," he said.
?Over his long and distinguished career in journalism Con Houlihan displayed a great enthusiasm, not just for his writing, but for the sports themselves including GAA, football and rugby. He has written about so many triumphs in Irish sport over the decades and his work is as much a part of Irish history as the events themselves."
Mr Martin extended his sympathies, and those of the party, to Mr Houlihan's family and friends.
NUJ Irish secretary Seamus Dooley described Houlihan as a towering figure in Irish journalism.
?He made a unique contribution to sports journalism and was greatly admired for the brilliance of his writing. His writing was rooted in a love of Gaelic games and was always laced with gentle humour. Con was not only a sports writer, he wrote about life and literature with elegance and style," he said. ?With his passing, Irish journalism has been greatly diminished, but Con has left a rich legacy.?