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Medical reporter who served daily for two decades dies aged 88

A features writer who served a regional daily for 21 years has died aged 88.

Tributes have been paid to Monica O’Hara, who worked as a features writer and medical correspondent at the Liverpool Echo between 1971 and 1992.

Monica, pictured, then ran the public relations desk at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital until her retirement in 1994, but continued to freelance for various publications, including the Echo, after that.

She died peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of 12 April aged 88, following a stroke six days earlier from which she never fully recovered consciousness.

Monica O'Hara

Her son Arthur told the Echo: “She enjoyed a wonderful rapport with animals, owned several dogs and, on one occasion, was even sent by her editor at the Echo, George Crijean, to interview a goat.

“During her time at the Echo, Monica interviewed and was on friendly terms with many of the notable personalities of the day including Diana, Princess of Wales, former Prime Minister Harold Wilson and television presenters Michael Parkinson and Chris Tarrant, as well as England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks, outspoken politician Edwina Currie and actress Anna Friel to name but a few.”

Monica originally joined the Echo in 1971, having previously worked at the Catholic paper the Universe, the Liverpool Observer and the Warrington Guardian.

Before that she had been a freelance contributor to numerous women’s weekly magazines throughout the early 1960s.

Monica was married three times – to fellow Liverpudlian and war veteran Michael O’Hara, to renowned hypnotherapist and former Echo canteen manager Joe Keeton, and in the later years of her life, when she was living in Paddock Wood, Kent, to retired bank manager David Laker.

Monica is survived by her three children and eight grandchildren. Her funeral will take place next Wednesday (15th May) at St Andrew’s Church in Paddock Wood, Kent.