The island of Ireland has paid their respects to Bill O'Herlihy, Ireland's favourite sports broadcaster, when he died peacefully aged 76 on the 25th May, 2015.
Tributes have been pouring in, with President Higgins stating:
“I have learned with sadness of the untimely death of journalist, chairman of The Irish Film Board/Bord Scánnan na hÉireann and broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy.
Bill was the face of Irish sports broadcasting for several decades and his rapport with sports fans all around the country was legendary, especially as part of the panel which he chaired for major soccer competitions.
Beginning his career in journalism at the age of sixteen, over sixty years he made a remarkable contribution to journalism, politics, public relations, broadcasting and our enjoyment of major sports events. Extremely professional in every detail of his work and
knowledgeable in his endeavours; however, it was his unique capacity for humour which he used to connect with diverse audiences, which made him so special.
All of our thoughts at this time are with his wife, Hillary, his daughters Jill and Sally, his extended family, colleagues and friends.
Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dílis"
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has also paid his respects:
"I was deeply saddened to hear of the untimely death of Bill O’Herlihy.
Throughout his career in the media, Bill was a consummate professional, both in current affairs journalism and, latterly in sports broadcasting.
In his role in RTE sport, Bill O’Herlihy was central to many of Ireland’s international sporting occasions and became a national treasure.
He loved his work and his family, and never forgot his Cork roots, or lost his Cork accent.
In recent years, he has devoted much of his time to public service in his role as Chair of the Irish Film Board, in which he was a strong advocate of Irish film-making.
On a personal level, Bill and I have been good friends for many years and I will miss his friendship and support. He was the quintessential decent, kind and generous Irish man.
I extend my deepest condolences to Bill’s beloved wife Hillary, daughters Jill and Sally and his grandchildren on their great loss.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."
Twitter was also awash with tributes with many colleagues and friends describing O'Herlihy as a "gentleman", "a great broadcaster" and the "face of Irish sport".
The funeral mass of Bill O'Herlihy will take place on Friday at 11.30am at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock in Dublin