RODNEY Rice was on just his second day working for RTÉ when the call went out for someone to report on Northern Ireland’s fledgling civil rights movement.
The year was 1967 and the north barely featured on the news bulletins of the national broadcaster, never mind meriting a specialist correspondent.
Rodney was just a year out of university and a cub reporter on the new TV current affairs programme Seven Days.
But having grown up in Whiteabbey near Belfast, he knew the territory well and put his hand up for the job.
It would be the first of thousands of reports for RTÉ during a long and illustrious career that not only helped ensure authoritative and balanced coverage of the Troubles but made him one of the most respected political journalists on Irish radio and TV.
Belfast-born former RTÉ director-general Cathal Goan told his funeral: “Rodney was somebody who was at the centre of political coverage…