Greyhound Racing lost one of it’s greatest ambassadors this week with the passing of Michael Fortune. As a journalist and broadcaster, he has been the voice of the sport for more than forty years and at a time when the sport is facing the biggest crisis in its history, his absence will be keenly felt.
Fortune was involved across so many areas of the sport. He worked with RTÉ on all their broadcasts, he wrote the Talking Dogs column for the Irish Greyhound Board, he was the track commentator at Shelbourne Park and he was the Irish correspondent of the Racing Post since that paper was first founded in 1986.
“I first met Michael in the early 1980s when he was one of the outstanding talents in the sports department at the Irish Press,” said Racing Post Editor in Chief Alan Byrne writing in his paper this morning.
“What shone through then and throughout his career was his passion. His knowledge was immense and his contacts book second to none – people were always happy to talk to him because they respected him so much. Michael was never short of opinions and never afraid to voice them either. We were fortunate to have those opinions aired within the pages of the Racing Post for so long.”
“Michael represented the heart of the Irish greyhound industry. His knowledge of each individual greyhound, trainer and all associated with the industry was unparalleled,” added Frank Nyhan, Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board.
“Michael loved the sport and committed himself totally to it. His involvement in the Annual National Greyhound Awards ensured a quality event made all the better for Michael’s immense contribution.”
“Michael was great company, ever pleasant and conscientious. Greyhound racing and the wider industry has lost a true friend. Bord na gCon extends its deepest sympathy to the Fortune family at this sad time.”
We had the pleasure of knowing him over many years and would echo those sentiments.
Fortune had a real passion for the sport and was as willing to spend time talking to a complete novice and passing on his enthusiasm as he was in a detailed conversation with the leading players in the sport.
His funeral service will take place at 11 AM at the Church of St Jude the Apostle in Templeogue, Dublin on Thursday.
Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dilis.