For Donal — 13 Comments

  1. Such a sweet post for someone who sounds like a gentle man. It’s always so sad when someone dies at Christmas. How wonderful to have soft voices and gentle questions…rare commodities these days.

  2. I shared a number of classes with Donal in Secondary school at Oatlands College, Stillorgan, Co Dublin in the early seventies. He was constantly inquiring, delving deeper and was often frustrated with the teacher’s responses. I used to find it wildly amusing in a charming way. One day he held his arms out in exasperation to the teacher and exclaimed ‘But why!’ -“Look Broughan, you’ll learn ‘why’ next year” – came the sidestepped reply.

    I had, like we all do, been meaning to make contact, if only to tell him how much I enjoyed his early morning Saturday shows – such a well thought-out eclectic, catholic mix of styles, genres, traditions – always seeing the beauty and wonderment in all strands.

    My kindest thoughts to his wife, family and friends

  3. I was listening to Donal’s show last Saturday AM and am really shocked to hear of his passing. His radio presenting style focused on the musuic rather than himself and featured artists who were unlikely to get radio exposure in many other quarters.
    My sincerest sypathy to his family and friends.
    May he rest in peace.
    A fellow broadcaster.

  4. Donal was my friend for over 30 years
    He was a gentle, honest and reflective person. His lovely family and music were his dual passions.
    We met first when we were in a band together – the Noise Boys – in 1978. He was a fine singer and frontman who even upstaged Ian Dury one night at the Olympic Ballroom. As life went on his mellow voice became an early morning feature in RTE as did his perfect taste in music of whatever genre. He just did not have it in him to present bad music – he felt it too much
    We played guitar and sang together for the past 20 years just for pure fun. He’d bring a song, I’d bring a song and the time would just fly by.
    He’ll be hugely missed

  5. Like so many I just stumbled into his early Sat morning programme; I marvelled at the breadth of his musical sensibility. I did’nt always like what he played but the assurance with which he introduced it often won me over, shook me out of my comfort zone, so to speak. I liked him. I was sad to hear, on Sat morning, of his passing. God Bless him.

  6. I went looking for Donal’s programme tonight and was so saddened to find out that Donal had died. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time. I so enjoyed his early morning programme – living in Belfast – there was something in his show that brought me back to my early morning listening to Rte with my father in Donegal in the 1970’s. I loved Donal’s voice, his thoughts and the beautiful music he brought to us. He will be missed. X

  7. I listened when at work on saturday mornings, I will miss him greatly, he was my introduction to much eclectic music. My sympathy to his family.

  8. Donal was very welcoming to me when I visited his home- what a kind man he was(and an awesome cook!)
    How very sad to learn of his death.
    My sympathy to his wonderful wife and sons.
    Jayne Chase
    Florence, AL USA

  9. I only learned this morning of his death. I feel sad and am thinking quite selfishly, that I will really miss my Saturday morning oasis of music. He had the ability to draw listeners in and make us feel we were part of his tribe.

    My sincere condolences to his family. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    I think though, that Donal has given us another parting gift by mentioning RS Thomas. I read that poem and as with so many of Donal’s recommendations it has sent me off on a trail of discovery I would never have imagined.

    Thank you

  10. It is a year tomorrow – 19th December – since my friend Donal Broughan passed away. Suddenly and at great loss to all who knew him. I simply want to mark his anniversary and hope that he will be remembered fondly tomorrow, mainly as a good man, a champion of great music and someone who always valued his fellow travellers equally. I will sing a few songs in his memory this Christmas.

    Tim McStay

  11. On this anniversary, I tried to find words from R.S. Thomas that seemed appropriate.

    Given Donal’s deep faith, I chose ‘The Other’.

    There are nights that are so still
    that I can hear the small owl calling
    far off and a fox barking
    miles away. It is then that I lie
    in the lean hours awake listening
    to the swell born somewhere in the Atlantic
    rising and falling, rising and falling
    wave on wave on the long shore
    by the village that is withoutlight
    and companionless. And the thought comes
    of that other being who is awake, too,
    letting our prayers break on him,
    not like this for a few hours,
    but for days, years, for eternity.

  12. Four years today since Donal passed
    He is not forgotten and always fondly remembered by those who knew him
    My thoughts are with his lovely family today

    When he left us in 2011 I penned a few amateur lines of reflection which I hope its OK to share now

    The Dreary Distance

    The ticking clock
    The passage of time
    The dreary distance between then and now

    The too fast retrospection
    The sadness becoming fact
    And all the while the purpose disappearing

    It’s too much judge
    And not enough jury
    It’s too soon for such a good life
    Too soon for orators and dark cold ground

    I see oldness in eyes that should be young
    And music chased out the door from willing dancers
    Tim Mc Stay 22.12.2011

  13. Thank you, Tim. Each time I hear RTE on a Saturday morning before the eight o’clock news, I think of Donal and the thoroughness with which he chose his music.

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