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Second tragedy hits daily’s newsroom as journalist dies aged 56

A daily’s newsroom has been hit by a second tragedy in days after the death of one its journalists at the age of 56.

Tributes have been paid to Dawn Egan, who has died just four days after Hugh Russell, her deskmate at the Irish News, passed away aged 63.

Dawn, pictured, spent nearly four decades with the Belfast-based News and has been praised as a “pioneer in her profession” after becoming one of the first women to work as a compositor in the ‘hot metal’ days of newspaper production.

She later retrained as a journalist and was highly regarded for her popular wine column and work with the features department.

Dawn Egan

Noel Doran, editor of the News, remembered her as “a trusted colleague to friends.”

He added: “It is particularly poignant that she and Hugh Russell have died within such a short period, as they were close in every sense through their adjoining desks, their practice of being the first employees into our office each morning, and their shared commitment to the values of the Irish News.”

Assistant editor Will Scholes also remembered her as being “a formidable production journalist with a sound judgement and a flair for detail”.

He said: “But more than that, Dawn was a wonderful person. Utterly selfless and humble, she was full of a warmth and wisdom that were illuminated by her vivid faith.”

Dawn, who died last week, is survived by her mother Kathleen, husband Mark, children Patrick, Mark Jn, Christopher and Catriona, grandchildren Zach, Michael, Ryan and Caodha, and siblings James, Jacqui and Nicola.