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Award-winning former weekly editor dies suddenly aged 54

Jackie McKeownAn award-winning former weekly newspaper editor has died suddenly aged 54.

Tributes have been paid to Jackie McKeown, who ran the Newry Democrat and also served as news editor of daily title the Belfast News Letter.

Jackie, pictured, also worked for local and national titles in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and England during her career.

She died at her home in Newry on Friday.

News Letter writer Billy Kennedy told the paper: “Jackie was an excellent journalist. She worked in the News Letter for a couple of years in the early 2000s on our news desk.

“Jackie was a good writer, very professional, and a person of great integrity in her journalistic skills and accuracy and news-gathering techniques.”

Originally from Banbridge, County Down, Jackie began her career as an NCTJ trainee at the Croydon Advertiser and went on to freelance for the Sunday Mirror and London’s Evening Standard.

She worked for the News Letter from 2003 to 2007, when she took on the Democrat’s editorship.

Jackie later worked on titles including the Belfast Telegraph, Sunday Life, Irish Independent and Irish Daily Star.

During time working with the Lisburn-based Ulster Star, she was named IPR Provincial Journalist of the Year.

She had a daughter called Ciara, and is also survived by her mother Rosa and sister Tara.