'He really was a beautiful man' - Sean Moncrieff pays tribute to Tomás Clancy


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.15 3 Jun 2020


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Newstalk host Sean Moncrieff has paid a moving tribute to Tomás Clancy.

The much-loved ‘Movies and Booze’ contributor passed away on Monday following an illness.

The journalist, broadcaster and prominent wine critic was one of the signature contributors of the Moncrieff show over the years.

Tomás spent over 20 years as a journalist and wine correspondent for the Business Post before adding the hugely popular 'Movies and Booze' slot to his repertoire.

He was joined in the segment by film critic Esther McCarthy.

Sean Moncrieff said he does not know anyone who had not been charmed by Tomás.

"He had had health issues for quite a while - it seemed like he was out of the woods and then things took a step back, and then it seemed like he was out of the woods again and then things took a step back.

"It had been going on for a while, but Tomás was the sort of fella who wouldn't tell you about it - and that's why I'm being vague, he'd want me to be vague.

"He wasn't the sort of fella who'd go 'boo-hoo, I'm ill' and give you the details.

"What he was focused on, what he was always focused on, was getting back healthy again and doing the things he loved.

"And obviously if you ever listened to him on this show, he absolutely adored coming in here.

"And it was one of the things he absolutely adored doing.

"As you know, probably, he wrote for many, many years for the Business Post as well about wine.

"And again, when you heard him on the show he didn't just talk about the wine, he was kind of like Paolo Tullio in that way: it wasn't just about the wine, it was about the people and the place it came from and the geo-politics, and the terrain and the climate and the history.

"And somehow all those things connected up with each other and when he finished telling you about where this wine came from you wanted to be in that place, you wanted to see all the people he described rather than just drink a glass of that wine.

"And that approach he took is also reflected in his background because he didn't do wine full-time, he was a barrister, he was a law lecturer as well - many people over the last couple of days have been getting in contact saying how much they enjoyed him as a teacher as well.

"He wasn't restricted by what he did - while he was training as a barrister he was also a journalist, he was the rock correspondent for InDublin magazine.

"He also, along with his brother, promoted music gigs and he knew about every conceivable sort of music that you can imagine".

"But he wasn't even limited by his age as kind of a lot of people are".

"He always wanted you to leave a conversation feeling good about yourself, despite the fact he was invariably the smartest guy in the room.

"His breath of knowledge on absolutely everything - on books, on art, on politics, on music - and he was a huge Star Wars fan on top of all that."

"The thing I remember about him, and I think the thing that most people here will remember about him, was the sweetness of his nature.

"I don't know anyone who had never been charmed by him, I never heard him say a bad word about anyone, and not in kind of cute or political way he just didn't have a mean bone in his body.

"He really was a beautiful man, and it was remarkable how everybody over the last few days called him a gentleman.

"And he really was, to his fingertips."

He is to be buried in Galway where "he'll always have a view of the sea".


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