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Gay Ol' Memories Joe Duffy and Ryan Tubridy lead tributes to Gay Byrne on second anniversary of his death

The legendary broadcaster died after a battle with prostate cancer


Ryan Tubridy and Joe Duffy Picture: Brian McEvoy

Ryan Tubridy and Joe Duffy Picture: Brian McEvoy

Ryan Tubridy and Joe Duffy Picture: Brian McEvoy

Broadcaster Joe Duffy has led tributes to Gay Byrne two years after his death on November 2019.

Taking to Twitter, the legend’s former colleague shared a black and white photograph of Gay along with a snap of a beautiful seaside sunrise.

“Legend. Gay Byrne 5th August 1934 – 4th November 2019. R.I.P,” he said.

Gay’s daughter Crona also paid tribute to her father.

“Wow, two years, where has the time gone. When you gained your wings two years ago today we never realised what a large hole you would leave in our life,” she began.

“We miss the chats the hugs and the "I love you". You were and always will be adored and loved by us. Kate, Harry, Phil and I miss you every day and wish we could have had you by our sides that little bit longer.”

“You were a wonderful kind, caring and loving Dad and Tara. We will cherish all the times we had together. Love you tons,” she concluded.

Crona is one of Gay’s two daughters with wife Kathleen Watkins. The pair met in 1957 and enjoyed a long and loving marriage until his dying day. The couple have six grandchildren, and Kathleen has previously said that she sees her late husband’s personality in them. They affectionately called their famous granddad “Rara.”

Ryan Tubridy also paid tribute to his former mentor on his RTE Radio 1 show this morning.

“I remember being in a cinema in Ranelagh, filming a promo for the Toy Show, and I knew that my old pal wasn't well, and the text came through to say, 'I'm afraid he's gone' and it was desperately sad.”

“There was something fitting about sitting in those seats, in a jumper, surrounded by kids, giddy and looking forward to Christmas and the Toy Show that meant so much to him and that he put so much of his life and time into. It felt kind of fitting,” Ryan said.

"We remembered him on our show that week and we remember him everyday.”

Referencing a large image of Gay on a wall outside the studio he said it’s: “Young Gay looking down on us, to say you're gonna be okay kids, keep going."

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Ryan paid tribute to Gay’s nearest and dearest too: "We're thinking about Gay's family today, Kathleen, Suzy, Crona and the beautiful grandchildren.”

"Gay's beautiful memory, and professionalism and mentorship lives long in the corridors of RTE. May he continue to rest in peace,” he added.

Marty Whelan also remembered his old friend: "Gay’s second anniversary today…. Still miss those shared moments,” he said.

RTE also paid tribute to the legendary broadcaster writing: "Today we’re thinking of our dear friend, Gay Byrne, on the second anniversary of his death. Always in our thoughts and hearts. Sending love to Kathleen and family x.”

In 2011, the former Late Late Show presenter was admitted to St. Vincent’s hospital after an ambulance was called to his home in Sandymount as he struggled to breathe.

Months later he suffered a heart attack and was admitted to hospital once again.

In November 2016, while presenting his show Time Warp RTE Lyric FM, Gay revealed that he had prostate cancer and told the audience that he was due to start chemotherapy and would be taking a break for one week. However, Gay was never able to return behind the mic.

Gay then passed away on the 4th of November 2019 at his home in Howth, Co. Dublin.

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