Irish President leads tributes after broadcaster Larry Gogan dies at 81

Ireland’s President has led tributes to broadcaster Larry Gogan, who has died at the age of 81.

Gogan, who was known as the man with the golden voice, had worked at RTE for more than 50 years.

President Michael D Higgins said that people all over Ireland are greatly saddened by the news of the DJ’s death.

Mr Gogan had worked in broadcasting for almost six decades.

“Larry Gogan made an indelible impact on Irish music, having promoted both up-and-coming and more established Irish musicians, and sharing his infectious enthusiasm and passion for pop and rock music of all kinds,” Mr Higgins said.

“Blessed with one of the warmest voices in Irish broadcasting, Larry Gogan not only defined RTE’s coverage of music, but also shaped the mould for many generations of DJs.

“His Just A Minute quiz will continue to live in the minds of Irish people everywhere.

“It was a great privilege to have had opportunities to meet him and discuss our shared love of music.

“Sabina and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.”

Mr Gogan was part of the original line-up for Radio 2 in 1979 and began with RTE Radio in the 1960s.

Dee Forbes, director general of RTE, said: “Larry Gogan was a legend and a genuine national institution.

“He transcended generations – whether it was a hilarious moment on the Just A Minute Quiz, the breakneck countdown of the weekly top 40 or the first play of a Christmas song – Larry didn’t just preserve these traditions, he created them.

“Legendary, cross-generational, universally popular. The Golden Hour and the Just A Minute Quiz were national institutions, just the like the man himself.”

Dan Healy, head of 2FM, said: “Larry was a huge part of the foundation on which 2FM was built. He was, arguably, the greatest music DJ in Irish broadcasting history, that gorgeous voice, that genius with a link, that love for the music.

“Larry won all the major radio awards in Ireland but over and above them all he had the one that mattered most: Universal popularity.

“Everyone loved Larry and we’ll all miss him deeply.”

Larry broadcast his first radio programme on Radio 1 and was in the original line-up in 1979 where he spun the first disc. He presented a regular show there until 2019.

Gogan also presented The Golden Hour until February 2014 as well as a variety of television programmes including Pickin’ The Pops and Go 2 Show.

He presented his last programme on 2FM on January 31.

Gogan was married to Florrie, who died in January 2002.

He is survived by his five children – Gerard, Orla, Grainne, David and Sinead – and 12 grandchildren.

A Jacob’s winner, Gogan was awarded the IRMA honours award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Irish music, and the Industry Award at the 2007 Meteor Awards.

Jim Jennings, director of content, RTE, said: “Larry Gogan defined the Irish popular music scene for decades. He advocated for Irish artists and Irish music throughout his career, meaning he was respected not only by audiences, but by musicians too.

“This, in many ways, was his unique quality, he was loved by the listener, and loved by the artist.

“Larry’s legacy will endure in popular culture and the popular imagination for decades to come.”