Tributes have poured in to former sports journalist Brendan Mooney who passed away in Cork yesterday evening after a short illness.
Mr Mooney was a native of Ballinabrackey, Co Meath. He began his career as a journalist with the Westmeath Examiner before moving to Cork to work for the Cork Examiner.
As a news journalist he covered major events including the Betelguese fire tragedy at Whiddy Island oil refinery in Bantry Bay and the Heremma kidnapping and standoff in Kildare.
He moved into full time sports reporting covering all the Olympic Games from Montreal in 1976 to London prior to his retirement a few years ago.
Excelling in sports including boxing cycling and athletics he covered the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia when Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche were at their peak. He reported on all three sports at local regional national level.
An accomplished sportsman himself Mr Mooney played GAA, rugby and was a top sprinter winning All Ireland Races in the 100m 200m and 400m while a member of the NACA.
On settling in Cork he joined Leevale Athletic Club and remained a member throughout his life representing the club at national and international level.
Brendan was married to Ann Mooney of the Irish Sun newspaper and the couple have four adult children Joanne, Caroline, Brenda and Richard.
Mrs Mooney says above all else Brendan was a "wonderful husband, dad and granddad" who "loved his seven grandchildren and took great pride in all his family’s achievements".
Mr Mooney is also survived by his mother Elizabeth and his six siblings.
Meanwhile, tributes have been made to Mr Mooney on Twitter. Former World Champion in the 5,000m Eamonn Coghlan who said he was "a lovely kind man and great journalist".
Olympic medal winner and former World Champion walker Rob Heffernan said that "Brendan was absolutely brilliant as a sports writer and a person".
International sports consultant Pierce O'Callaghan said that Brendan was much loved for his positive way in reporting news. He called him a "gentleman and doyen of Irish athletics".
Irish Examiner Sports Editor Tony Leen said that Brendan "covered Athletics, Boxing and Cycling with greater authority and empathy than we really knew. A fine professional, sadly missed".