Journalist and TV producer Kevin Dawson dies aged 57
Dawson, who had a 35-year career in print and broadcast journalism, suffered from motor neurone disease
Kevin Dawson, who has died aged 57, ‘played a very important role in the development of public service media with RTÉ’
Tributes have been paid to the journalist, TV producer and commissioning editor Kevin Dawson, who has died in Dublin at the age of 57.
His 35-year career in print and broadcast journalism in Ireland took him from freelance work for In Dublin, Magill, Sunday Press, The Irish Times and Irish Independent to positions as a senior reporter and news editor with the Sunday Tribune.
He began working for RTÉ as a reporter and presenter in TV current affairs from 1992 to 1994 and then until 1998 as a TV producer, when he scripted, produced and co-directed the history series Rebellion on the events of 1798.
He returned briefly to print journalism in 1998, as assistant editor at the Sunday Business Post, but in 1999 was back as commissioning editor of factual TV in RTÉ, where he commissioned and developed many documentaries on history, arts and political subjects.
In 2010 he moved from television to become RTÉ’s head of corporate communications and two years later he was appointed head of editorial standards.
In recent years, he suffered from motor neurone disease.
RTÉ director-general Dee Forbes and RTÉ Board Chair Moya Doherty offered their condolences.
“Kevin Dawson’s contribution to the art of television documentary in Ireland is a significant one,” said Ms Forbes. “Working mainly with the independent sector, a Kevin Dawson production was identifiable for its ambition, scale and honesty. Kevin’s documentaries were events.
“His final years in RTÉ were characterised by an ethical diligence that was also the hallmark of his earlier journalism. Ultimately, Kevin’s bravery has left a lasting impression on all his colleagues. He will be much missed. My sincere sympathies to his wife Brianóg, children Colm and Anna, friends and close colleagues on this sad day.”
Ms Doherty said Dawson was an exceptional journalist and an exceptional man. “He played a very important role in the development of public service media with RTÉ. He epitomised all that is exemplary in public service broadcasting.”