Deceased ‘Irish Times’ staff remembered at commemorative service in Dublin

Particular tribute paid to four staff members who died suddenly in the past two years

Managing editor Cliff Taylor remembered Sean Flynn (pictured) as a friend who ‘put a smile on your face’, a journalist with an ‘extraordinary talent’, and a dedicated family man. Photograph: Eric Luke

Managing editor Cliff Taylor remembered Sean Flynn (pictured) as a friend who ‘put a smile on your face’, a journalist with an ‘extraordinary talent’, and a dedicated family man. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Family, friends and colleagues of deceased Irish Times staff gathered in Dublin on Saturday for a commemorative service.

The event, held at the Unitarian Church on St Stephen’s Green, was addressed by editor of The Irish Times Kevin O’Sullivan and managing director Liam Kavanagh, who welcomed the families of four staff members who died suddenly in the past two years.

These were former education editor Sean Flynn, sports journalist Carl O’Malley, joint picture editor David Sleator and Brian Morrissey who worked in the marketing and advertising department.

He said he knew the families had a “great link and association” with The Irish Times and hoped the service would strengthen that bond.

Managing editor Cliff Taylor remembered Sean Flynn as a friend who “put a smile on your face”, a journalist with an “extraordinary talent”, and a dedicated family man.

Lynda O’Keeffe, personal assistant to the editor, recalled Brian Morrissey as “entertaining company” whose stories were “legendary”, who had a word for everyone and was always willing to lend a hand.

Noel O’Reilly said sports journalist Carl O’Malley would have loved to have worked on the stories of corruption in Fifa that emerged in recent weeks and said he had a gift for making all his friends feel special. “Family was his whole world,” he said.

Absolute rock

Picture editor Frank Miller paid tribute to his former colleague David Sleator as “the most reliable, pleasant, down-to-earth guy you could meet . . . an absolute rock of common sense, a really decent human being . . . You could not have asked for a better colleague.”

Administration manager Jerry Crowley read out the names of 26 former staff members from across the organisation who died since the last memorial service took place in 2013. They included former agriculture correspondent Seán Mac Connell, former group managing director and chief executive of The Irish Times Louis O’Neill (83) and former Irish Times journalist and editor of The Irish Field Valentine Lamb.

The event was organised by religious affairs correspondent Patsy McGarry.