Former RTÉ head of current affairs Desmond Fisher dies aged 94

Veteran journalist reported on Second Vatican Council for ‘Catholic Herald’

Veteran reporter and commentator on Catholic Church affairs Desmond Fisher died in Dublin on Tuesday aged 94.

A contributor to this newspaper's Rite and Reason column, his last article appeared on September 30th, 2014, and concerned challenges facing Pope Francis.

In a comment to this reporter then, he said “the church is in for a tough time ahead trying to win back the leavers. Francis seems to have got the message – ‘if you want us back you’ll have to come after us and show us you are worth it’.”

Mr Fisher reported on the 1963 and 1964 sessions of the Second Vatican Council for the UK's Catholic Herald, of which he was then editor, and the Irish Press group in Dublin. Born in Derry on September 9th, 1920, his family later moved to Dublin where he attended UCD before becoming assistant to the editor at The Nationalist and Leinster Times.


In 1952 he became London editor of the Irish Press and a daily columnist. Later he became that newspaper’s political correspondent before leaving in 1962 to become editor of the Catholic Herald, a post he held until 1966.

Recruited by RTÉ he became the station's deputy head of news and in 1973 he was appointed head of current affairs.

Married to Margaret (Peggy) since 1948, they had four children.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times