The extent to which Bill O'Herlihy is linked to the Irish sporting landscape is absolutely immeasurable. Perhaps we didn't truly appreciate that until the news broke that the great man has passed away at the age of 76.
The cause of death has not yet been announced but it is understood that O'Herlihy passed away suddenly overnight having earlier attended the IFTA's in Dublin's Mansion house.
Noel Curran, Director-General of RTÉ has released the following statement on behalf of the national broadcaster.
Everyone in RTÉ is devastated at today’s news. Bill O’Herlihy was a giant of the sporting and broadcasting worlds in this country. His contribution to broadcasting was utterly unique. For decades he was at the centre of some of Ireland’s greatest sporting moments.
He never hid his emotions on those big occasions, from disappointment to utter joy, and for this he was greatly loved. But he was also a fantastic broadcaster and interviewer, getting the very best out of his interview panels and provoking debate and insight, and for this he was also hugely admired. Our sincere sympathies go to Bill’s wife Hillary, daughters Jill and Sally, grandchildren, family, friends and colleagues.
We would like to pass our condolences on to Bill's friends and family and as you can imagine, tributes have already begun to pour in.
Former RTÉ broadcaster Bill O'Herlihy has died aged 76. pic.twitter.com/JnD2gqRuaE
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) May 25, 2015
Bill O'Herlihy has passed away suddenly. RIP. Huge sympathies to family, friends and colleagues in RTE and PR. pic.twitter.com/J40Y1mbOBU
— Darragh Doyle (@darraghdoyle) May 25, 2015
Terrible news that Bill O'Herlihy has passed away. Outstanding presenter and even better man. Honoured to have worked with him. RIP Bill.
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) May 25, 2015
Devastating news on the death of our friend and colleague Bill O'Herlihy. Broadcasting was his passion. Family was his joy. Thanks Billo.
— Ryle Nugent (@ryle_nugent) May 25, 2015
"We'll leave it there, so." RIP Billo: https://t.co/gWMXvXbr5U
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) May 25, 2015
— YBIG (@YouBoysInGreen) May 25, 2015
So sad to hear of the passing of Bill O'Herlihy. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. RIP.
— Sinéad Kissane (@sineadkissane) May 25, 2015
Very sad to hear of the passing of Bill O'Herlihy, I know he liked this picture so posting again as tribute to him. pic.twitter.com/uG2inSScfR
— Niall O'Loughlin (@nialloloughlin) May 25, 2015
— Pat Kenny Newstalk (@PatKennyNT) May 25, 2015
We are all in shock here at the sad news of our colleague and friend Bill O'Herlihy. Our thoughts are with Hilary and the family. #RIPBill
— Tony O'Donoghue (@Corktod) May 25, 2015
Shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Bill O'Herlihy today. A true gent, loved by Irish football fans. RIP pic.twitter.com/ZTAcJeZaqJ
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) May 25, 2015
— RTÉ Archives (@RTEArchives) May 25, 2015
Saddened at the news of Bill O' Herlihy.
Childhood memories of Golden Irish sporting moments Bill was always at the helm.Thank you Bill
— Nicky Byrne (@NickyByrne) May 25, 2015
We'll leave it there so. RIP Bill O'Herlihy - a giant of sports broadcasting #okeydoke
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) May 25, 2015
RIP Bill and thank you for a truly remarkable career.
More to follow.