Mourners told of journalist Dick Grogan’s commitment to truth

Former Irish Times news editor applied his ‘great intellect in the pursuit of justice’

From Barry Roche, Southern Correspondent in Castletownbere, West Cork

Dick Grogan was a campaigning journalist who was never afraid to challenge those in authority in the pursuit of truth and justice, mourners at his funeral service in West Cork were told on Tuesday.

Grogan’s brother Colm told mourners at a humanist ceremony in Castletownbere that his late brother, a former Irish Times news editor, was never afraid to question the received wisdom on an issue and that informed his work as journalist.

"Dick applied his great intellect and his life's work entirely to the pursuit of truth and justice, but justice for the purpose of the betterment of mankind and not tinged with retribution," said Mr Grogan as he recalled his brother's affection for his adopted home of Allihies.

A native of Terenure in Dublin, the late Mr Grogan joined The Irish Times after obtaining a science degree in UCD and he was working as northern editor for the paper when he covered the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry in January 1972.

Excellent stylist

Irish Times Northern Ireland Editor Gerry Moriarty described his late colleague as "a conviction journalist" who was not only committed to ensuring that the truth came out as was evident in his coverage of Bloody Sunday, but was also a very fine stylist.

“He was there in Derry on Bloody Sunday and it made a great impression on him. And he actually came out of retirement to cover the Saville inquiry because it was so important to him – so he was there when truth finally came out and the victims were exonerated.”

Leading the mourners were Grogan's daughter Muireann, son-in-law Yuichi, granddaughters Emily and Erica, sister Oonagh Kelly, brothers Brian and Colm as well as other relatives including nieces and nephews. Also in attendance were Northern Editor Gerry Moriarty and former letters editor Maeve Donnellan.

Tributes were also paid by Mr Grogan's sister, Oonagh Kelly and his nieces, Jane Grogan and Susan Kelly and his nephew, Paul Kelly in which they recalled his love of cooking and art and his great generosity where he would gift paintings from his art collection to friends.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times