Voice of the Kingdom now still after 45-year career

Seán Hurley in familiar pose as he interviews people out and about in the community

THE strong, distinctive voice of Seán Hurley rang out one final time at his poignant funeral Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney this Saturday afternoon as family, friends and colleague gathered to bid farewell to the popular broadcaster who will be remembered as the voice of the Kingdom.

Brief snatches of recordings of his popular Sunday night Kerrywide programme were played for a congregation that sat in silence and remembered a thorough professional whose name and voice were well known in every parish in the county, bar none.

Seán passed away, suddenly, last Tuesday night, just 24 hours after learning that his popular Radio Kerry programme had been nominated for a prestigious IMRO award to add to the PPI accolade he received in 2010.

Seán interviewing Hollywood star Michael Fassbenber in Killarney last year

In a moving tribute, his daughter, Melissa, said he slipped away quietly but there is a huge sense of loss as he departed way too soon and he had so much he wanted to do, including return to Chicago and visit Rome where, such was his commitment to his job, he might have even managed to interview the pope.

She said during his 45-year involvement in broadcasting, from street and community radio and pirate stations before joining Radio Kerry 30 years ago, Seán’s commitment and passion never ebbed and, with an incredible work ethic, he gave his career absolutely everything.

Man at work: Seán was involved in broadcasting for 45 years

Melissa said her father loved Kerry and everything about it and he lived and breathed radio, collecting, editing, producing and presenting all his own material and he always insisted that everything must be done properly.

The gathering for the Mass, as which Fr Jim Lenihan and Radio Kerry director Monsignor Dan O’Riordan officiated, heard of a man who loved meeting people, conversation, music, gardening, football, nature, animals, model trains, monitoring airplanes and flight schedules, baking, photography and cake and he was always available and always there to help others.

Another daughter, Edwina, said Seán was happiest when out and about meeting people and his face lit up anytime people stopped him to say they enjoyed his programme.

His motto in life was to get up, dress up and show up and he always had a big, broad, genuine smile as he was happy to meet everybody.

Seán was laid to rest in Rath Cemetery, in his native Tralee, this afternoon following a final journey between the town town that he loved.

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