Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Connacht Tribune

Gentleman Jim – the consummate journalist

Published

on

RTE Western Editor Jim Fahy in the Galway studios in the week of his retirement. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Obituary by Dave O’Connell

Jim Fahy was a man of many paradoxes; a big imposing man who never tried to impose himself on anyone; an instantly recognisable face who only ever wanted to tell the story, never to be it; a reporter for the big, international story…but just as happy to record the minutiae of ordinary life.

Where there was no contradiction however was in his commitment to his profession – his quest to bring the news to the masses, driven by a phenomenal work ethic, an insatiable desire to find the answers and a lifelong dedication to his role as RTÉ’s man in the West.

That dedication to his craft brought plenty of plaudits – his career was bejewelled with over 40 awards for his work – but he always saw himself as the storyteller, never the story.

Like so many of the national service’s finest broadcasters, he cut his journalistic teeth in the world of newspapers – in Jim’s case, under the expert tutelage of Tuam Herald editor and owner, JP Burke.

And he learned well from the Master, because over his 38 years as RTÉ’s first Western Correspondent and Western Editor, he set the standard for regional broadcasting, covering his patch with curiosity and enthusiasm that never dimmed from first day to last.

His long-running Looking West series has rightly been singled out in recent days as his greatest legacy; those conversational documentaries that told – in the first-person and from memory – the story of Ireland through so much of the last two centuries.

Ever patient and dogged, he would sit for hours and hours with those who could offer a direct line back to the Famine – recounting the stories they’d heard from those who’d lived through it.

Thus he opened a window, for example, on life in the Big Houses, chatting with those who lived there – as easily to members of the aristocracy as the household staff – to get an insight into their lives and the world around them.

He loved words – possibly a throwback to his early days in print – but he also knew how to let a picture tell a story. And he also knew when to listen.

The past few days has also recalled his famous interview with the late Monsignor James Horan, against a backdrop of JCBs digging into the boggy mountain that was to become Knock Airport, as he asked the question the world wanted to – “Monsignor Horan, what exactly is going on here?”

“We’re building an airport…and we have no money, but we’re hoping to get it next week or the week after.”

You didn’t need an intrusion – just an ability to ask the question and step back to let the answer tell the tale.

He chronicled every big Galway story from early seventies to 2011 – Digital’s rise and fall and the similar trajectory of Bishop Casey; All-Ireland wins and losses; the Saw Doctors, Druid’s growth, the Arts Festival, the Races; the BrazilIans in Gort; sea tragedies; the Christmas tears and goodbyes at Knock airport; the Kiltartan floods and the Derrybrien mudslide; Michael D in the Dáil and the Áras – producing what good journalism is supposed to do…provide the first draft of history.

The Kilreekill native who had long lived in Tuam was the station’s longest serving regional correspondent, when he retired in 2011. Truth be told, that wasn’t his decision; it was just the state broadcaster’s arbitrary policy of retiring people at the age of 65.

Typically, he wanted to fade away on the back of a final broadcast – a piece on Paul Fallon’s 1,000-mile charity run as he passed through Oranmore on New Year’s Eve 2011, where typically he jogged alongside, still asking questions as he tried to take his quiet leave.

But the big man was never going to be allowed to simply fade into the ether, and President Higgins led the tributes to Jim in a personal message on that evening’s Six One News – saying how much he would be missed and how Jim had reported on everything political, cultural and international that had happened in the West under his journalistic tenure.

Fittingly it was the President who again led the tributes on Jim’s death at the weekend, describing him as ‘one of Ireland’s finest broadcasters’.

“It will be as RTÉ’s voice of the west of Ireland that Jim will be most fondly remembered,” said President Higgins.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin also took time out to remember Jim Fahy’s ‘distinct voice and eye for a story uncovered every facet of life in the west of Ireland, as well as major international events like 9/11’.

Because the Galway man was one of the first journalists from Europe to arrive in New York in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Galway and the West was his daily beat, but the world was his oyster.

He’d interviewed Mother Teresa and travelled to Somalia with former President Mary Robinson in the late 1990s – a decade after he’d produced a series of programmes from London on that latest generation of young people to emigrate to Britain.

Typical of the man, once he retired, he made no effort to hold onto the limelight; instead he enjoyed life with Christina, his children and his grandchildren; he pursued his passion for sailing and reading – and if he departed this world way too soon at the age of just 75, he packed a lifetime into every day.

The recurring tribute from so many of his colleagues – in RTÉ and the wider journalistic community – was the advice he generously imparted, the encouragement he ceaselessly offered, and the praise he never failed to bestow when a job was well done.

He thrived on the big stories but never missed the small ones either; he mixed in exalted circles but had a passion for the ordinary and the marginalised – a need to tell their story in his own kind and inimitable way.

Jim Fahy died at home in Gardenfield, outside Tuam, on Friday night, surrounded as always by his beloved family. His Requiem Mass took place in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Tuam on Monday, with burial afterwards in Kilbannon Cemetery.

His wife Christina will miss him most of all, as will his son Shane, daughter Aideen, daughter-in-law Brenda, Aideen’s fiancé Colm, his treasured grandchildren Amy, Dylan, Hugh, Clodagh and Dara, brother Pat and his wife Nora, his relatives, friends – and all who knew him in the media world of wich he was such an integral part.

Connacht Tribune

Family-friendly location just a stroll to the beach

Published

on

Family friendly location: 26 Tearmann Eala (red door) in Renmore.

This large semi-detached residence in the popular Tearmann Eala estate in Renmore has come to the market with an asking price of €395,000.

Number 26 is a well-presented four-bed property with very generous living space spread out over two floors.

The ground floor comprises a wide entrance hall with under stairs toilet, a large living room with open fireplace and to the rear, the kitchen/dining room and utility both with access to the back garden.

Upstairs are four double bedrooms all with built-in wardrobes and the master is en suite. Completing the upstairs is the main bathroom.

Externally, there is off-street parking to the front and a well-kept rear garden.

Selling agent Kyle O’Brien said: “Tearmann Eala is a quiet cul de sac development in Renmore. It is a perfect family friendly development and is well serviced by local amenities and services nearby.

“Ballyloughane Beach is only a short stroll away and not to mention all the communal green areas and facilities such as Galwegians Rugby Club and the Kingfisher Leisure facilities.

“Additionally, there are many further amenities such as schools, Dunnes Stores, Lidl and Parkmore IDA Park, the major employment hub on the east side of the city.”

For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact DNG Maxwell, Heaslip & Leonard on 091 565261.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Consumer spend hit by inflation

Published

on

The average planned monthly spend among Irish consumers has decreased by ten per cent, according to Deloitte’s latest State of the Consumer Tracker.

The survey found that consumers in Ireland are ten per cent more concerned about inflation than the global average, with more than half (56 per cent) worried about their level of savings.

It also found that consumer confidence in engaging with businesses and services in person has increased over the last month; 80 per cent feel safe going to the store (up six per cent since the previous wave); 80 per cent feel safe engaging in one-to-one services such as hairdressing (up five per cent); 78 per cent feel safe going to a restaurant (up seven per cent); and 66 per cent feel safe attending in-person events (up ten per cent).

Despite this, financial concerns among consumers in Ireland have remained constant or lessened only slightly since the previous wave: 26 per cent are concerned about making upcoming payments (down two per cent); 52 per cent say they are delaying large purchases (no change); 44 per cent are optimistic that their personal financial situation will improve within the next three years (up one per cent); and 56 per cent are concerned about their level of savings (no change).

In fact, of the 23 countries surveyed, Ireland is the third-most-concerned about inflation, with 85 per cent of consumers in Ireland saying that they are concerned about inflation, compared to the global average of 75 per cent.

Consequently, the average planned monthly spend among consumers in Ireland has decreased by a significant ten per cent, from €2,654 in the previous wave to €2,396.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Country Living

Little by way of ready relief from hypochondria ailment

Published

on

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Not all the time, but here and there, I get occasional nominations for being the number one hypochondriac in my immediate circle, an ‘accolade’ I hotly dispute but often to no avail. There is always that tendency when a sudden headache arrives or a twinge in the back comes like a lightning strike or a cough starts out of the blue to straight away harbour thoughts of impending doom.

With the passing of years – even decades – you get subtle hints of your finitude (a fancy way of saying that you’re going to die sometime) and you begin to check out medical terms like floaters (little black spots that appear in your line of vision), cataracts, osteoarthritis, diabetes, depression and of course the dreaded dementia.

If you can tick off more than two of those boxes then you know that you’re in a bit of bother and the only hope is that if you tick them all, you’re probably just in a state of chronic hypochondria rather than being on your last legs.

Luckily many years ago after a brief flirtation with cigarettes while at school (secondary), some kind of a spirit descended upon me and prompted me to turn my back on the dreaded weed, which has now become horrendously expensive as well as killing you off before your time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending