Denis Murray to retire…

The Belfast Telegraph is not the only big media institution that is downsizing. Slugger hears that Dennis Murray (who ironically began life at the BT in 1975), who was often the voice of Northern Ireland through the BBC’s nationwide network through some of Northern Ireland’s darkest days is to retire at the end of June.

  • Joe

    This is pure pedantry, but you mean “coincidentally”, not “ironically”.

  • BonarLaw

    And Mark Simpson is coming home. Could this be a happy coincidence?

  • slug

    This is a sign that the troubles really are over.

  • jessica

    ….and no-one will notice.

  • Brian Walker

    The last post, “no one will notice” may be true for many but not for all. Today’s journalism is tomorrow’s fish and chips paper and all that. No one relishes the emphemeral nature of the trade more than journalists themselves. But Denis will be remembered for the dignity with which he told our sad tale at the height of the Troubles to the often exasperated or bored British audience in particular. He kept it fresh. He struck the right note unerringly and handled tone superbly.In TV News reporting this is much harder to do than it may seem. In a sense, he was a fine ambassador for Northern Ireland to the wider world, without for a moment pulling his punches. He was the first and the best correspondent who came from here to achieve full BBC network reporting status. The fact that he was indigenous made a tremendous difference; he was representing ” us ” to “them,” rather than an Englishmen peering into the mysteries of a strange divided tribe. With people like Denis around, they can’t be all crazy, might well have been the response of the casual viewer. No mean achievement, in reports of three or four minutes at a time. He was my successor as BBC NI Political Editor. And if my say so, I’m very proud of him. You should be too; he did you good service.

  • GavBelfast

    Well, I think he’ll be missed, one of the best.

  • Mick Fealty

    Nice piece Brian. Thanks.

  • Damien

    I used to work at the Spar in Carryduff and he was always very nice when he came in.

  • Ahem

    So who’s in the running to be the SDLP’s new director of broadcast media?

  • Nationalist

    I watched Denis Murray for years, and I always thought he was biased towards Unionism.

    But then again he was working for the British Broadcasting Corporation, a massively-subsidized, inherently-biased, anti-Nationalist presence in Northern Ireland.

    It’s guardians and trustees are pillars of the British establishment.

    A round-the-clock promoter of British values in Ireland.

    And here’s Angie with the weather.

  • wild turkey

    Ditto Micks comment on Brian Walkers piece. Always thought Denis Murray delivered with dignity and clarity…and sometimes with an undercurrent of frustration and/or bemusement on what he was reporting.

    Must also say it is refreshing that on this blog it took until comment 10 to read a tedious exercise in intellectual handjobbery…sorry make that astute and pithy analysis. Perhaps the poster is a likely candidate to fill Murrays shoes. And then again perhaps not.

  • Ahem

    Hey, Denis Murray was John Hume’s backing chorus. And why on earth do you think I’m suprised that you have no objection to that? Or perhaps we should all go along with the conceit that dear wee Denis was entirely devoid of political preference and was such a superb professional, so wrapped in the unimpeachable ethos of the BBC that nary a solitary political prejudice emerged from his untainted gob? Alternatively, we could restrict this thread to the 18+ age bracket.

  • Mick Fealty

    I only ever passed one scene of an ambush, early in the morning in South Derry in the mid eighties. The car was a mess. But since the victim had survived, there was nothing more gruesome to be seen.

    It’s easy to forget that many of our journalists were witness to the worst of the illdeeds of the Troubles, and then had to find some equilibrium to tell the rest of us what happened.

  • ulsterfan

    He was very dependable and had my confidence he was doing a good job.
    Happy retirement Denis

  • Denis’ little bit of hanky panky with Kerry Katona 😉

    Denis later told me it was the greatest bit of fun he’d had in years

  • Nationalist

    Wild Turkey,

    So I criticize Dennis Murray and his employer, the BBC for having a British bias. For taking a Unionist outlook, and for promoting British values in Ireland

    For that, you accuse me of ‘intellectual handjobbery’

    I’m sure you’ll enjoy the new series

    June 11 10.40pm
    June 12 7pm (rpt)
    The five royal schools of Ulster celebrate their 400th anniversary this year but how are they dealing with the challenges of modern education?

    you wanker.


    I think Brian’s post says it best.
    farewell Dennis, a long and happy retirement.