Journalism on both sides of the border has been struck a heavy blow with the sad passing of Mary Campbell, one of its brightest lights, who was a senior producer with RTÉ.
Belleek native Mary passed way on July 17 in the Mater Hospital, Dublin after a short illness.
Mary began her distinguished career with the Irish News in the early 1980s and was its first farming correspondent, later moving to the BBC where she covered some of the worst atrocities of the Troubles.
She joined RTÉ as a producer on Radio 1’s Pat Kenny Show and was the Producer in Charge of Pat’s show and 5/7 Live.
Mary moved to the BBC’s Dublin Bureau in 1999 before re-joining RTÉ as a News Editor in 2005.
In 2015 she became a Deputy Programme Editor.
In 2016, Mary recalled being part of RTÉ’s coverage of the Good Friday Agreement for the “We were there. You were there” marketing campaign.
She was incredibly proud of being a witness to history.
Mary was an old friend and colleague of this reporter. She previously worked with the Irish News in Belfast and came from Corry, Belleek and quietly helped me in my career.
She was a real lady and beautiful inside and out, she had the clearest of blue eyes that could see way inside your soul but she never judged and was never afraid to comfort the afflicted or afflict the comfortable.
She was exceptionally bright and equally understated, a calm presence in a very egotistical trade and was always superbly organized.
Mary faced her final illness in the same way she faced life, bravely, calmly and with the minimum of fuss.
Mary was also utterly devoted to her family and regularly came home to visit them from Dublin on weekends.
Friends and colleagues gathered in memory of Mary in a poignant Funeral Service in Dardistown, Cloghran, County Dublin where memorable tributes in prose, poetry and song were heard in her memory, reflecting her eclectic tastes.
A Memorial Mass will take place in St John The Baptist Church, Toura on August 3 at 11 am.
She is survived by her husband, Paul Torsney, her mother Ellen, brothers Sean (Mary), Brendan (Geraldine), and Fergal (Ruth), sister Helen (Peter), nieces Jenny and Caitlin, nephews Evan and James, sister-in-law Joan and her many friends and work colleagues.
May her warm gentle soul rest in peace
“Slan Abhaile, Slan Go Foill, A Stor”
- Gerry McLaughlin