Jim Dougal

It is with sadness that members of the Stormont Press Corps learned of the death of colleague Jim Dougal.We express our deepest sympathies to his wife Deirdre, family Tara, Tina Emma, James and his three grandchildren whom he adored.

Jim was a widely respected journalist who covered every twist and turn of political life here for over thirty years. He was a thorough going professional who was meticulous in his pursuit of the facts. He earned immense respect among all of us for his sanguine approach to his illness as he, courageously fought cancer daily on his feet. Eamonn Mallie.

Chairman: Stormont Press Corps.
Eamonn Mallie

  • Brian Walker

    Thanks for the very fitting post, Eamonn.

    I’m very sad to hear of the death of Jim Dougal at 65 after winning many victories in his war against cancer. A stalwart of his generation, he was already established as senior RTE correspondent in Belfast at the height of the Troubles when he became one of my successors as BBC NI’s political editor. The job was multifaceted: holding the ring and acting as lightning conductor for nervous and combative politicians; interpreter of the erratic world of NI politics to two very different audiences, the puzzled British and the all too committed Northern Irish ; and adviser to colleagues and management who sometimes had the wrong bee in their bonnet and needed saving from themselves.

    Jim, quite a big lad physically, performed these roles with impressive calm and solidity .Only once did he lose his cool in public and that was in a very different context.

    Having moved to the lucrative pastures of the European Commission first in Belfast then London, he spectacularly quit in protest against the stifling bureaucracy that by comparison makes the BBC seem like a hippy collective.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/jim-dougal-why-i-can-no-longer-sell-europe-to-the-british-552058.html

    “A lost referendum and eventual withdrawal from the EU is now a possibility, by default”.

    Writing in 2004, I think Jim was wrong about that but even now you can’t be entirely sure.

    He was in fine fettle for the UTV leaders’ debate during the general election campaign. It was great to see him in harness for so long.

    My deepest sympathy to Deirdre and their family.

  • Sad news indeed about Jim. Thank you for your kind words Eamonn. I join in the sympathy to Deirdre and family. He was a very kind boss and I learned a lot from him on RTÉ’s Northern staff when I came to Belfast in 1984. The tributes that have already been paid to him by many political leaders show the extent of his influence. Rest in peace.

  • Oracle

    I thought he was winning his war with the dreaded C and his return to UTV reenforced my belief, even bantering him some months back.
    I’m quite shocked he went so quickly.

    My condolences to his family

  • Greenflag

    A sad loss . There are some journalists whom one instinctively trustsand JD was one of them . Somehow one always knew that JD knew and understood much more than his brief allowed him to reveal . His exasperation at the Brussels bureaucracy was only too understandable .

    RIP.

  • Munsterview

    Jim will be missed by all who followed the Northern Ireland News. He was for so long the person that personified the Northern News for the South and it seems that he was never short of a question or explanation that threw further light on the subject under discussion !

    Sincere sympathy to his family and indeed his professional colleagues also as his absence will be a sad loss for Northern Journalism as well.