UTV host Aideen Kennedy has tragically died at the age of 43, shortly after telling fans she had been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Just hours before her death, the journalist and presenter had posted on social media that she was receiving palliative care.
On Friday, she wrote on Twitter, asking her followers to “keep an eye out” for her children, Jacob and Eva.
Aideen posted a photo of the youngsters along with a picture of a card they made for her that read: “To Mom I hope you get well soon. I love you very much.”
She added in the caption: “The kids know [I’m terminally ill]. If you ever meet them you will look out for them, they are the kindest, sweetest and most thoughtful kids.”
A spokeswoman for UTV then confirmed the sad news of Aideen’s death on Sunday. They said: “The UTV family is deeply saddened by the passing of former colleague and friend Aideen Kennedy.
“A truly gifted reporter, she spent many years at UTV bringing viewers stories from across Northern Ireland.
“We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to her family at this very sad time.”
A number of Aideen’s UTV colleagues have offered their condolences, including the station’s former political editor, Ken Reid.
He tweeted: “Tonight the thought of Aideen not being with us is just heartbreaking.
“A decent soul who has suffered too much. The news left many of us stunned. We all have to be careful. God bless you. REST IN PEACE.”
The BBC’s Barra Best also tweeted: “So sorry to hear that. Aideen was always nice to meet up while she was covering a story. REST IN PEACE.”
Aideen is also survived by her parents, Noel and Maura.
In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph in 2019, she said she lost her older sister Fiona to cancer in 2016 and her brother Dara died less than a year earlier of a brain tumor aged 35.
Her older brother, Rory, died in a traffic accident when he was just one year old.
She said in the interview: “My mother Maura and my father Noel are the strongest and most loving people I know. Since my mother is a teacher and my father is originally from Argentina, the children in our family have always been at the forefront.
“As a family, we are very people-oriented. We were a very close family and did a lot together.”