Marian Finucane (21 May 1950 – 2 January 2020)[5] was an Irish broadcaster with Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). She began working with the national broadcaster in 1974, starting as a continuity announcer. She was the first presenter of Liveline and presented The Marian Finucane Show at weekend lunchtimes on RTÉ Radio 1 until her death.

Marian Finucane
Born(1950-05-21)21 May 1950
Dublin, Ireland
Died2 January 2020(2020-01-02) (aged 69)
EducationScoil Caitríona, Mobhi Road, Dublin; College of Technology, Bolton Street, Dublin
Alma materNational University of Ireland, Galway[1]
EmployerRaidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
John Clarke (m. 2015)
Partner(s)John Clarke


Marian Finucane was born in Dublin and educated at Scoil Chaitríona. She studied architecture at the Technological University Dublin, Bolton Street. She practised as an architect until 1974 when she joined RTÉ as a continuity announcer, having been recruited by Eoghan Harris.[6] In 1976 she became a programme presenter working mainly on programmes concerned with contemporary social issues, especially those concerning women, in particular Women Today.[1]

Finucane in 1979 was the recipient of a Jacobs' Award for Women Today.[7] Her Liveline programme on radio, was a combined interview and phone-in chat show on weekday afternoons. In 1980 Finucane won the Prix Italia for a documentary on abortion: she interviewed a woman who was about to have an abortion, had travelled with her to England, been with her in the hospital and talked to her afterwards.[8] The Radio Journalist of the Year Award followed in 1988.[9][10]

Her television work included information programming on RTÉ such as "Consumer Choice" and the Garda investigation programme Crimeline.[10]

On Gay Byrne's retirement in 1999, she took over his early morning radio slot to present The Marian Finucane Show. Another broadcaster, Joe Duffy, took over her Liveline programme. On 24 June 2005 she presented her final Marian Finucane Show in that time-slot. Later that afternoon she received an honorary degree from NUI Galway. Apart from her media work this degree was in recognition of her work raising funds along with Clarke, towards the building of an AIDS hospice and orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa. In June 2005 she was replaced in her radio timeslot by Ryan Tubridy, and took over morning slots on Saturday and Sunday.[1]

Personal life and deathEdit

Her first marriage ended in separation.[1] She then had two children with her partner, John Clarke. Their daughter developed leukaemia and died, aged eight, in 1990.[11] She and Clarke married in January 2015.[12]

Finucane died unexpectedly at her home in Naas, County Kildare on 2 January 2020 at age 69, her funeral took place on 7 January 2020.[13][14][15][16][17]


  1. ^ a b c d Murphy, Colin (2006). "Marian Finucane profiled". Archived from the original on 15 December 2007.
  2. ^ Hegarty, Shane. "1 Pat Kenny = 3 Derek Mooneys". The Irish Times.
  3. ^ "Pat Kenny highest paid RTÉ presenter in 2009". RTÉ. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  4. ^ a b O'Connell, Hugh (27 March 2013). "RTÉ reveals stars' salaries: Ryan Tubridy was paid €723,000 in 2011, according to figures released by the State broadcaster this evening". Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Photograph: Marian Finucane". RTÉ Libraries and Archives. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Expect to find me smiling in a serene and senatorial way".
  7. ^ "Jacob's Awards Winners". RTÉ Archives.
  8. ^ Ferriter Diarmuid, Occasions of Sin, Page 471, Profile Books Ltd, London,2012 ISBN 978 1 86197 949 0
  9. ^ "Finucane goes in RTE radio shake-up". 21 January 2005.
  10. ^ a b McGee, Harry. "Marian Finucane: Broadcasting career stretched across 45 years". The Irish Times.
  11. ^ Sweeney, Ken (21 September 2012). "Broadcaster Marian Finucane opens her heart over loss of daughter to leukaemia". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  12. ^ "And the bride wore black: Marian Finucane wedding joy as RTE host ties the knot after 30 years". 20 January 2015.
  13. ^ Hennessy, Michelle (2 January 2020). "Broadcaster Marian Finucane has died at the age of 69". Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  14. ^ Hilliard, Mark (2 January 2020). "RTÉ broadcaster Marian Finucane dies aged 69". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Death announced of RTÉ broadcaster Marian Finucane". RTE News. 2 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Here are some of Marian Finucane's most memorable moments in broadcasting". Journal. 3 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Marian Finucane had decided in early December that she would retire". Journal. 7 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.

External linksEdit