Ireland’s National Television and Radio broadcaster RTÉ confirmed the news of Gay Bryne’s death on their website today.
In a statement, his family said: “It is with sadness that Kathleen, Crona and Suzy wish to announce that their beloved Gay has died peacefully at home today, surrounded by his family.
“We wish to thank everybody for their love and support during Gay’s illness. Particularly the wonderful teams in the Mater Hospital, St Francis Hospice and the Irish Cancer Society”.
The broadcaster added that Gay had been ill for a long period of time ahead of his death.
A statement from RTÉ director general, Dee Forbes said of Gay Byrne’s death: “Gay was an exceptional broadcaster whose unique and ground-breaking style contributed so much to the development of radio and television in this country.”
“We are all greatly saddened by the passing of Gay Byrne who has been a household name in this country for so many years.
“Gay was an exceptional broadcaster whose unique and ground-breaking style contributed so much to the development of radio and television in this country.
“Gay’s journalistic legacy is as colossal as the man himself – he not only defined generations, but he deftly arbitrated the growth and development of a nation.
Back in June, he was due to receive the Ireland-US council’s Lifetime Achievement Award but was unable to attend the ceremony.
At the event, President Michael D Higgins described the broadcaster as “controversial, outspoken, and unafraid to break new ground” in a tribute to him.
He added: “It has been said that, throughout his many decades on television and radio, Gay Byrne’s role in the shaping and crafting of modern-day Ireland has been profound.”
Following the news of his death, many celebrities and fans of the star flocked to social media to pay a tribute.
Piers Morgan commented: “RIP Gay Byrne, 85. Ireland’s greatest broadcaster.
“A master of his craft & a charming, brilliant, hugely influential (in a good way) man. Very sad news.”
RTE managing director Jon Williams also wrote: “Very sorry to report that #GayByrne has died.
“No exaggeration to say he was a legend. 37 years @RTELateLateShow, career spanning 6 decades @RTERadio1 & @RTElyricfm.”
The Late Late show star is survived by his wife Kathleen and their daughters Suzy and Crona.
More to follow…