Tributes have been pouring in for Gay Byrne after the news broke that he passed away aged 85.
RTé announced the news on Twitter, writing, "Veteran RTÉ broadcaster Gay Byrne has died aged 85 following a long illness."
Veteran RTÉ broadcaster Gay Byrne has died aged 85 following a long illness
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) November 4, 2019
Since the announcement, tributes have been pouring in online for the legendary broadcaster.
President Michael D Higgins wrote on Twitter, "Gay Byrne was someone who exuded warmth and presence, who was possessed of effortless wit, charm and who had a flair for broadcasting."
"Gay Byrne was someone who exuded warmth and presence, who was possessed of effortless wit, charm and who had a flair for broadcasting."
Statement by President Higgins on the death of Gay Byrne: https://t.co/P3WbkIDiqi
(Photo: RTÉ) pic.twitter.com/OJ22xYcttE
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) November 4, 2019
Meanwhile, another Twitter user wrote, "Desperately sad to hear of the passing of one of Ireland’s greatest broadcasters and TV presenters Gay Byrne you will be massively missed, Gay."
— Karma Kagyu (ཀརྨ་བསོད་ནམས་་མཚོ་མོ་) (@LindaKagyu) November 4, 2019
His family said in a statement to RTÉ, "It is with sadness that Kathleen, Crona and Suzy wish to announce that their beloved Gay has died peacefully at home today, surrounded by his family.
"We wish to thank everybody for their love and support during Gay's illness. Particularly the wonderful teams in the Mater Hospital, St Francis Hospice and the Irish Cancer Society".
Byrne was often praised for discussing issues that weren't often spoken about on television, such as sex, abortion and LGBTQ+ issues.
Gay Byrne has made his transition at age 85 , brought sex to Ireland among so many achievements, Rest in Peace pic.twitter.com/VaV0PBuYRo
— the painter flynn (@thepainterflynn) November 4, 2019
A giant has finally come to rest. Gay Byrne has passed away at age of 85. No other broadcaster in Ireland has ever come close to matching his influence. Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
— harrymcgee (@harrymcgee) November 4, 2019
There will never be as towering a figure in Irish broadcasting as Gay Byrne was in his prime. The word legend is over-used but he was the real deal. RIP.
— Conor Pope (@conor_pope) November 4, 2019
Gay Byrne was an icon. A very professional broadcaster who pushed boundaries in a far more conservative era. Watching clips in hindsight, he can seem like a trooper for the status quo but he was way ahead of his time.
"There was no sex in Ireland before the Late Late Show" pic.twitter.com/5yowxv2bLr
— Cllr. Peter Kavanagh (@TheKavOfficial) November 4, 2019
I remember as a child loving a sick day off school because it meant I could lie in bed for the morning, and listen to all sorts of grown up, hopefully scandalous conversations on the radio with #Gaybo or Gerry. Impossible to believe both those voices are gone.
— Jennifer O'Connell (@jenoconnell) November 4, 2019
— Pat Neville (@PatNiNiadh) November 4, 2019
I'm deeply saddened to learn of the death of Gay Byrne. Few under 40 will appreciate the effect he had on Ireland, opening up conversations we never had before - and his adroit tightrope act, tiptoeing between light and shade, never will be equalled. May he #RIP. #Gaybo
— Philip Nolan (@philipnolan1) November 4, 2019
Byrne first began presenting The Late Late Show in 1962 and continued in the role until 1999. He was also known for presenting The Gay Byrne Show on RTÉ Radio One as well as other popular TV programmes such as The Meaning Of Life, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and For One Night Only.