Irish Times journalist Andrew Hamilton, who was due to retire next month, has died of a heart attack. He had been the paper’s motoring correspondent for more than 30 years.
Born in Newtownstewart, County Tyrone, he had joined the Irish Times as a reporter in the early 1960s from the Impartial Reporter in Fermanagh. He subsequently became an assistant news editor with the Irish Times.
Leaving the paper for a short spell with The Belfast Telegraph, he rejoined the Irish Times in 1964 and reported on many of the major stories of the time, including the renowned arms trial in the Republic, in which three cabinet ministers were accused of conniving with the importation of firearms to republicans in Northern Ireland.
Following his appointment in the 1970s as motoring correspondent, he developed a strong relationship with senior executives in many of the large manufacturing companies and built an enviable reputation with the motoring public, reporting on the major motor shows in Geneva, Detroit and Tokyo.
Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy described Andrew as "a great colleague who was open-minded, sociable and possessed a wry sense of humour".
She said he would be sadly missed at the Irish Times, dying just weeks away from his 65th birthday.
Andrew is survived by sister Joy and brother Roy.
by Des Cryan