‘SHE IS A HUGE LOSS TO US ALL’ Cynthia Clampett (pictured), former CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice, has been paying tribute to the late broadcaster, Marian Finucan.
Former CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice pays tribute to Marian Finucane for her work for the hospice movement
The sudden death of RTÉ broadcaster Marian Finucane was was met with shock and sadness across the country. Here in Mayo, many will always be grateful for her support for Mayo Roscommon Hospice.
The veteran broadcaster, who also owned a holiday home in Achill, died suddenly in her Kildare home on Thursday. Following her death, tributes to the 69 year old flowed from all quarters and were reported in the national media.
Described as ‘a pioneer in women’s broadcasting’, Marian Finucane started her career with RTÉ in 1974 and very quickly became a central part of Irish broadcasting life.
She was also involved in charity work at home and overseas, and was a board member of the Irish Hospice Foundation. Cynthia Clampett, the former CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice served with Marian on the board for a number of years, and she paid tribute to her championing of the work of hospice in Ireland.
“She is a huge loss to us all, and I am really sad that we will not hear her voice again,” Ms Clampett told The Mayo News. “I served with her on the board of the Irish Hospice Foundation for a number of years and she was so supportive. She was always genuinely interested in what was happening on the ground, and having lost her own young daughter to cancer, she seemed to know what hospice was about.”
For many years, Marian was the public face of the Irish Hospice Foundation, often launching Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning, the national annual fundraiser for the organisation. Cynthia said she was always willing to help and provided the voice-over for the Mayo Roscommon Hospice’s Shine a Light tree-lighting ceremony at Knock. She also launched Mayo Roscommon Hospice’s official website in 2001, and Cynthia said her presence was vitally important to the hospice movement.
“We owe her a huge debt because she made a huge difference to the hospice movement. I am a nobody, but when Marian Finucane spoke it commanded respect and people listened. It was so important to us that Marian came on board and her support meant so much to us,” he said.
Marian Finucane was also a well-known presence around west Mayo having owned a holiday home in Currane, Achill, for a number of years. Local landscaper, John Sweeney knew Marian through his work and said she a pleasure to deal with.
“I would have met Marian Finucane when she used to come into Sweeney’s [supermarket in Achill Sound] when I was working there, and in later years I would have done some landscaping for her but not much, as she liked to keep it minimalist. She was always very pleasant to deal with, courteous and direct,” he said.
President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to Marian Finucane, saying that with her death ‘Ireland has lost a deeply respected, trusted and much-loved broadcaster’.
“A superb professional, many will remember the wisdom and sensitivity with which Marian Finucane dealt with discussions and confrontations between different voices on what were controversial issues of the day. She was one of the very early exemplars to those who sought a proper representation of women in broadcasting. There will be many, in every part of Irish life, who will miss Marian’s voice, but of course her loss is felt most acutely by her family and friends.”
Her funeral Mass will take place today (Tuesday) at St Brigid’s Church in Kill, Co Kildare, at 12 noon, before a private burial. She is survived by her husband, John, their son Jack and her stepchildren Jocelyn, Neil and Timothy, and she was predeceased by her daughter, Sinéad.