- 20 Sep 23
RTÉ RnaG will broadcast three special programmes in memory of the renowned broadcaster this week.
Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta presenter, has passed away at 53, the broadcaster has annouced.
The Donegal presenter died peacefully on Tuesday at his home in Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal - the result of a colon cancer diagnosis in 2019.
The host of afternoon radio show, Ronan Beo, began his career on RnaG in the '90s, before going on to host his own show and win various awards for presenting.
Speaking about the much-loved presenter, Kevin Bakhurst, director general of RTÉ, said he was “deeply saddened," adding: “He was a passionate torch-bearer for Irish-language broadcasting, a radio pioneer whose flair for invention and innovation will influence broadcasters in any language for years to come.
“His death is a great loss to his family and friends, his colleagues across the organisation, and Irish-language broadcasting in general. May he rest in peace.”
Born in the Rebel County, Cork, Rónán moved to the Gaeltacht community of Gaoth Dobhair at just three months old - where he subsequently spent a majority of his life.
The gaeilgeoir began his career in radio with pirate radio stations in Dublin and Donegal throughout the '80s, eventually moving on to Century Radio and RTÉ Irish language programmes.
Following this, Mac Aodha Bhuí worked as presenter of RTÉ's afternoon show Cois Life for three years, also spending time at the news show Barrscealta and music series Cúl an Tí and Geill Slí.
— Raidió na Gaeltachta (@RTERnaG) September 19, 2023
RTÉ RnaG regional manager in Donegal, Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh, extended his sympathies, saying: “Rónán was a superb broadcaster. He was inquisitive, empathetic, clever, unafraid and daring. He was unequalled and he’ll be greatly missed. I would like to extend my condolences to his wife Bernie, his daughter Fionnuala, his brother Cian, a former colleague, and all his family and friends. May he rest in peace.”
Since 2006, Ronan Beo has featured everyhting from interviews to live music, entertainment, health segments, cookery, news stories, and comedy sketches. The show has also broadcast live from Irish-language festival An tOireachtas.
Rónán won radio personality of the year at the Oireachtas Festival three times between 2009, 2010 and 2016, along with winning radio show of the year at the event for Ronan Beo. Mac Aodha Bhuí was also named radio personality of the year at the Celtic Media Festival, with his show receiving radio series of the year at the PPI Radio Awards.
Gearóid Mac Donncha, who leads RnaG, said: “It’s difficult to put into words the influence that Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí had on his community, and the love and esteem in which he was held. That community is wide and varied and includes people in the Gaeltacht and Irish-language communities, musicians, artists, writers, farmers, fishermen, doctors, solicitors, young and old, at home and abroad, and all will be deeply-saddened today at the news of his death.”
Mac Aodha Bhuí is survived by his wife Bernie, his daughter Fionnuala, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends.
RTÉ RnaG will broadcast three special programmes in his memory this week.