Several days later came more devastating news with the announcement that legendary radio star Larry Gogan had died at the age of 85.
The nation's best-loved DJ had been part of our lives on national radio since the 1960s.
There was more heartbreak for RTÉ colleagues the following month when RTÉ journalist and Six One News presenter Keelin Shanley died on February 8 at the age of 51. She'd had a long and intermittent battle with cancer.
In July, we lost former Republic of Ireland football manager Jack Charlton.
'King of the Showbands' Brendan Bowyer died on May 28 in Las Vegas where he had spent most of his working life as an entertainer.
Marian Finucane…Larry Gogan… 2FM's Alan McQuillan…Monty Python founder and star Terry Jones (77)…Yes Minister and Heartbeat star Derek Fowlds (82)…WWE legend Rocky Johnson (75).
RTÉ journalist and Six One News presenter Keelin Shanley…Love Island host Caroline Flack (40)…Dance DJ and producer Andrew Weatherall (56)…American rapper Pop Smoke (20)…Actress Ja'net DuBois (Beverly Hills 90210 and ER)….Legendary Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas (103)…Actress Lynn Cohen (86), who played Magda in Sex and the City…Musician Andy Gill (64), of post-punk band Gang of Four.
American country music star Kenny Rogers (81)…Actor John Callahan (66), who starred in TV series Falcon Crest…Actor Mark Blum (69), appeared in Crocodile Dundee, Desperately Seeking Susan and The West Wing…Actor Max von Sydow (90), from Star Wars and Game of Thrones…American country singer Joe Diffie.
Former Bond girl Honour Blackman (Pussy Galore)…Actor Sam Lloyd (56), who played Ted Buckland in hit medical sitcom Scrubs…Soul singer Bill Withers (81) of Ain't No Sunshine fame…Actor Bill Hogg (65), who played Ser Addam Marbrand in Game of Thrones…Comic Eddie Large (78), of Little and Large…Actor Brian Dennehy (81), of TV series Dynasty…Jill Gascoine (83), who starred as Maggie Forbes in 1980s TV show, The Gentle Touch…Actor and comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor (79), from The Goodies…American singer-songwriter John Prine...Actor James Drury (85), who starred in The Virginian, one of the longest running westerns in TV history…Actor Sean Arnold (79), from Grange Hill and Bergerac.
Rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard (87), whose hits include Tutti Frutti…Irish showband star Brendan Bowyer…Musician Florian Schneider (73), of pioneering electro group Kraftwerk…Actor Tony Scannell (74), who played DS Ted Roach in The Bill…Musician Brian Howe (66), of British band Bad Company…Actor Michael Angelis (68), star of Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Boys From The Black Stuff.
Dame Vera Lynn (103), known as 'The Forces Sweetheart' and famous for songs such as We'll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover…Hollywood director Joel Schumacher…Actor Carl Reiner (90), whose roles include Ocean's Eleven…Snooker legend Willlie Thorne.
Legendary Republic of Ireland soccer manager Jack Charlton (85)…Ennio Morricone...Ex Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green (73)…Primal Scream singer Denise Johnson (53).
Guitarist Jack Sherman (64), of Red Hot Chili Peppers…Actor Chadwick Boseman (43), who played Marvel superstar Black Panther…Seinfeld and Dirty Harry actor Reni Santoni (81)…Former UTV presenter Brian Black.
Top Irish jockey Pat Smullen (43)…Actress Diana Rigg (82), who starred in The Avengers, Bond and Game of Thrones…singing legend Helen Reddy (78)…British actor Frank Windsor, best known for his TV roles, from Casualty and Peak Practice to EastEnders…Singer Tommy DeVito (92), of The Four Seasons… Lee Kerslake, from Ozzy Osbourne's band…Singer Pamela Hutchinson (61) from R&B group The Emotions…Sylvester Stallone's mother, Jackie…Actor Michael Lonsdale (89), whose many roles included James Bond villain Hugo Drax in Moonraker…Singer Bruce Williamson (49), from the Temptations…Actor Kevin Dobson (77) from Knots Landing and Kojak…Singer Ronald Bell from Kool & The Gang…Actor Rodney Litchfield (81), from Coronation Street, Early Doors and Phoenix Nights…Bay City Rollers star Ian Mitchell (62).
James Bond legend Sean Connery (90)…Soccer legend Nobby Stiles (78), England World Cup winner…Comedian Bobby Ball (78), of Canon and Ball…American country singer Billy Joe Shaver (81)…Footballer Marius Zaliukas (36)…Rugby player JJ Willins (72), Wales and British and Irish Lions…Great British Bake Off star Luis Troyano (48).
Soccer legend Diego Maradona (60)…British TV icon Des O'Connor (88)…American rapper Lil Yase (25)…actor Dave Prowse (85), who played Darth Vader in the Star Wars Trilogy…Celebrity Big Brother star Heavy D (43)…Ray Clemence (72), Liverpool, Tottenham and England goalkeeper…American country music star Hal Ketchum...Let's Stay Together actor Bert Belasco (38)…Musician Bones Hillman (62), of Midnight Oil…American rapper King Von (26)…Comedian and actor John Sessions (67)…Actress Elsa Raven (91), of Back To The Future…American Idol star Nikki McKibbin (42)…Irish country music star Brian Coll.
Country music legend Charley Pride (86)…Actress Barbara Windsor (83)…Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houlllier (73)… Author John le Carré (89)…Actress Betty Bobbit (88) from Prisoner Cell Block: H.