News, Current Affairs, Politics, Media, Sport, Entertainment and Life in General from Ireland

RTÉ Announces Sean O’Rourke in key 10-12 noon slot

RTÉ Announces Sean O'Rourke in key 10-12noon slotRTE Press Release:

Jim Jennings, Acting Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, today announced multi-award-winner Sean O’Rourke as presenter of the key 10-12noon slot on Radio 1. Referring to “a top-class new daytime line-up for Radio 1,” he continued, “Radio 1’s schedule was already strong. Now, it’s even better.”

The new schedule is as follows:

7.00-9.00am: Claire Byrne is announced as new co-presenter of Ireland’s number one radio show, Morning Ireland, joining Rachael English, Gavin Jennings and Cathal MacCoille.
9.00-10.00am: Miriam O’Callaghan will continue to present the key 9am slot for the autumn.
10.00-12.00pm: Sean O’Rourke has been named as the new presenter of the Today programme.
12.00-1.00pm: Ronan Collins will continue to present Ireland’s number one lunchtime music show.
1.00-1.45pm: Richard Crowley and Aine Lawlor are announced as alternating presenters on RTÉ’s flagship lunchtime radio news programme.
1.45-3.00pm: Joe Duffy presents Liveline, Ireland’s second most-listened-to radio programme.
3.00-4.30pm: Derek Mooney presents the nation’s biggest afternoon radio show
4.30pm-7.00pm: Mary Wilson presents Ireland’s number one drivetime radio programme.


RTÉ Radio 1 listeners will already be familiar with Sean O’Rourke as presenter of News at One on Radio 1 and The Week in Politics on RTÉ One television. PPI News Broadcaster of the Year for the three years in a row, O’Rourke is widely regarded as one of the finest current affairs broadcasters in Ireland. RTÉ Radio 1 now marries the daily variety of the Today programme with the incisiveness of one of Ireland’s foremost current-affairs journalists.

Speaking today, Sean O’Rourke said: “It’s 40 years ago next month since I began a lifelong love affair with journalism and I can honestly say I am as excited about this move as I was the first day I climbed the stairs in the Connacht Tribune in September 1973. I love radio and I love news. Friends and colleagues however will know me as a huge sports fan and an avid reader. Not only will we break news, drive the debate and analyse the stories of the day, we’ll be getting stuck into much more than that. I hope people will come for the news and stay for the craic. Here’s to September 2nd.”

Claire Byrne joins Morning Ireland as one of the core presenting team, and will continue to present Saturday with Claire Byrne on Radio 1, and Prime Time on RTÉ One television.

Miriam O’Callaghan says she has “hugely enjoyed the 9am slot on RTÉ Radio 1. I love radio and I love the 9am slot. I’m delighted to continue in the slot for the autumn and look forward to more really strong human interest stories.” In the past weeks Miriam has conducted high-profile interviews with the parents of Donal Walsh, and with Praveen Halappanavar, in the 9am slot. Miriam will also return to her senior presenter role on RTÉ One’s Prime Time in September. RTÉ confirmed that John Murray will return in the coming months.

Aine Lawlor and Richard Crowley will alternate as presenters of RTÉ Radio 1’s News at One, with Aine Lawlor also hosting The Week in Politics on RTÉ One television. Speaking today, Aine said: “I’m swapping breakfast for lunchtime and relishing the challenge of a solo gig. The lunchtime news on radio is the peak of the current-affairs day, and it’s an honour to be at the very heart of the Radio 1 schedule.”

Richard Crowley welcomed the move to one o’clock: “Lunchtime news is a natural appointment to listen for hundreds of thousands of people all over the country. It’s one of the most challenging programmes on Irish radio and also one of the most exciting to present.”

Jim Jennings, Acting Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, said: “This is a hugely strong schedule for RTÉ Radio 1. Sean O’Rourke, multiple winner of PPI News Journalist of Year, is Ireland’s foremost news and current affairs presenter. Sharp, insightful and fair, Sean progresses the news agenda like no other presenter. Now listeners will get the Sean they know, and much more. A massive sports fan, a keen reader, Sean will showcase the best of what listeners love about the Today show. We are intent on holding and building listeners in this key slot; with Sean O’Rourke, listeners have an easy choice to make in staying with Radio 1.

We’re honoured to have Miriam O’Callaghan continue for the autumn on Radio 1, and we look forward to welcoming John Murray back in due course. Miriam joins Claire Byrne, Rachael English, Mary Wilson and of course Aine Lawlor in the daytime Radio 1 schedule. Truly, the women are on air.

Irish listeners can now be assured of the very finest journalism, and the very best presenters, on Ireland’s number one radio station.”
10th August 2013

Maureen Catterson,, 087 7800737
Joseph Hoban,, 086 8128662

Images: New presenter images have been issued to picture desks.

Launch: RTÉ Radio 1 will host a meet and greet media event on August 29th

More: Sean O’Rourke will be interviewed by Aine Lawlor on RTÉ Radio 1 at 11am this morning


RTÉ Radio 1
• Latest JNLR: RTÉ Radio 1 weekly reach steady at 37%, 1,325,000
• Latest JNLR: RTÉ Radio 1 Weekday Reach steady at 24% with 864,000 listeners
• Latest JNLR: RTÉ Radio 1 remains the only station in Ireland with a weekly reach of over 1M

Recent Programme Figures:
• Morning Ireland up 7,000 b-o-b to 450,000 and 6,000 y-o-y
• The John Murray Show with Miriam up 3,000 to 330,000 b-o-b and 3,000 y-o-y
• Today Programme up 3,000 b-o-b to 328,000
• Ronan Collins up 4,000 listeners b-o-b to 218,000
• Mooney up 1,000 b-o-b to 225,000
• News at One up 8,000 listeners year-on-year to 365,000

Claire presented The Daily Show on RTÉ One, having joined RTÉ from Newstalk. A native of Mountrath in County Laois, Claire began her broadcasting career in radio and worked for the BBC in the Channel Islands as a broadcast journalist before becoming News Editor with a Channel 103FM. She worked with TV3 as early morning News Anchor with the station’s breakfast programme, Ireland AM. Following two and a half years of early starts, editing and producing her own bulletins, she moved to London to take up a position as News Anchor with Channel 5 and the ITN News Channel. She has won the Irish Film and Television Academy’s TV Personality of the Year Award and the TV Now Favourite News Anchor Award. She has presented The Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1 and now presents Saturday with Claire Byrne, also on Radio 1.

Ronan Collins is admired and respected throughout Irish broadcasting for his affable personality and his natural style. His daily programme The Ronan Collins Show, from 12-1pm, is all about easy listening and light entertainment and continues to be one of the biggest radio shows on RTÉ Radio 1. Ronan is a recipient of the IMRO Special Recognition Award, recognising the enormous support that he has given to Irish music and Irish artists over the course of his many years in radio.
Ronan is no stranger to the Irish TV screens and hosted the Lotto for many years. Ronan has three children, two girls and one boy. Originally from Phibsboro in Dublin city, he now resides in Co. Meath. He enjoys a good game of golf, music and the occasional gig.

Journalist and broadcaster, Richard Crowley, began his career with The Derry Journal in 1976. He has been with RTÉ for nearly twenty-five years, working as a reporter and presenter with RTÉ News and Current Affairs. For six years he presented Morning Ireland. From August 2001 he was RTÉ’s correspondent with responsibility for the Middle East, covering events in Israel/Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. His book, ‘No Man’s Land’” was published in October 2007. In April 2009 Richard presented a ten-part series on business and financial issues, The Smart Money, on RTÉ Two and was presenter and editor of a One to One series in which he interviewed guests such as UN Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix; author Colm Toibin; kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston, former FF Director of Elections, PJ Mara and business men Ulick McEvaddy and Ben Dunne. He joined the Prime Time team as presenter for two years whilst also working on the News programme This Week which he has presented and edited since June 2009.

Joe Duffy catches the public mood on Liveline, Monday to Friday on RTÉ Radio 1 at 1.45pm. It is one of a number of RTÉ Radio 1 programmes that Joe Duffy has worked on. In 1989, he became the producer of The Gay Byrne Radio Show and later a presenter on the show. He also presented Soundbyte, the weekly review of the world of media and communications from 1993. He has presented numerous programmes and documentaries for RTÉ Television. Joe Duffy was born in Mountjoy Square, Dublin in 1956 and brought up in Ballyfermot. He went to Trinity College in 1977 and was elected President of Trinity College Students’ Union in 1979, becoming President of the Union of Students in Ireland four years later. In 1984, he was jailed for two weeks after student occupation Eastern Health Board offices. He later became a probation officer in the Department of Justice. Joe is married to June and they have three children.

Rachel English joined RTÉ as a 2fm news reader in August 1991. She later worked as a reporter for Morning Ireland; the News at One; and for television news. As a stand-in presenter she worked on programmes including Morning Ireland, Five Seven Live and the Today with Pat Kenny programme. She began presenting Five Seven Live in June 2000 and presented the programme for six years up until July 2006. Rachel led the current affairs and news show, responding that were breaking while the programme is on air. During 2006 and 2007 Rachel travelled around Ireland visiting all of the election constituencies, exploring the issues, meeting the personalities and getting the ‘insiders’ view. Rachael presented Saturday View on RTÉ Radio 1 and is a co-presenter on Morning Ireland. A communications graduate of Dublin City University, Rachael is from Shannon in Co. Clare.

Gavin Jennings combined working in A&E departments as a doctor with covering politics for the Belfast Newsletter before joining BBC Northern Ireland, first as a newsreader on Radio Ulster and later as a reporter and presenter with Radio Foyle’s Sony award-winning news and sports team.
Gavin came to RTÉ eight years ago and presented News at One, This Week, Saturday Sport, Friday Sportsnight and Take Your Point before joining Morning Ireland in December last year.
Originally from Navan, he still hopes to be on the sideline the next time the Royal County wins the All-Ireland. ‘It’s only a matter of time,’ he says.

Aine Lawlor joined RTÉ in September 1984 as a trainee journalist, working on a number of radio and television programmes before becoming a reporter/presenter in January 1988. Before working in journalism she worked in arts administration, and is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she was also President of the Students Union. She has worked on The Pat Kenny Show, Today at 5, RTÉ 2fm News and a variety of television programmes, including The Nature of Things, Tuesday File and as narrator for the highly-acclaimed series on clerical sexual abuse in Irish institutions, States of Fear. She co-presented Morning Ireland, the flagship morning news programme on RTÉ Radio 1 from 1996 and is now one of RTÉ’s most seasoned broadcasters as well as one of Ireland’s most recognised voices. She is married to Ian Wilson, and they have four children.

Cathal worked as a researcher on several RTÉ radio programmes before getting his first job on the Nuacht desk in the newsroom in 1975. Cathal worked as a reporter with RTÉ’s Belfast staff for six years. On his return to Dublin in 1984 he had spells presenting both the lunchtime news and This Week before starting a four-year stint as presenter of Morning Ireland in 1986. He then spent 11 years away from the programme, first as news editor and later assistant editor of the Sunday Tribune, then as TG4’s political correspondent. He’s been a regular on Morning Ireland since his return in 2001. In 2011, he was named PPI News Broadcaster of the Year.

Derek has had an interest in broadcasting since he was a young boy, and initially worked as and a runner for RTÉ. He first appeared on television in 1985 on a debate on Anything Goes. Well recognised for his nature programmes on RTÉ Radio and BBC television, he presents RTÉ Radio 1’s Mooney. Television work has included Winning Streak and the acclaimed Secrets of the Irish Landscape. Derek has lead the development of wildlife radio broadcasting in Ireland for over a decade. His achievements in the natural history field include Habitats, The Nature Line, Nature Trails and Mooney Goes Wild, all for RTÉ Radio 1, Wildtrack on RTÉ television, and Nature Detectives for the BBC.

Miriam O’Callaghan was born and raised in Dublin. She qualified as a solicitor before beginning her broadcasting career on ITV’s This is your Life. She joined the BBC as a producer in 1987, and went on to become a reporter on BBC2’s Newsnight. In the early ‘90s Miriam returned to Ireland to present RTÉ’s current affairs flagship programme Prime Time, while continuing to cover the Northern Irish peace process for Newsnight. Her programme Miriam Meets … was a huge success for Radio 1. Outside of her work on Prime Time, Miriam presents her own chat show, Saturday Night with Miriam, during the summer.

Sean was born in Port Laoise in 1955, the sixth son of a family of eight. His father was a national school teacher, his mother a civil servant before their marriage. He attended national schools in County Laois and Galway, followed by NUI, Galway where he completed a BA in English, History and Legal Science in 1977. He spent a year with the Connacht Tribune Group after his Leaving Cert between 1973 and 1974. After college he joined the Sunday Press until 1981, working as a sports journalist, feature writer and political reporter. Sean joined RTÉ in 1982 and was presenter/reporter for RTÉ News and This Week. He was Political Correspondent with the Irish Press between 1984 and 1989, when he returned to RTÉ as Programme Editor/Presenter in RTÉ News, working on the News at One, Morning Ireland and This Week. Since 1995, Sean has been programme editor and presenter of the News at One. Since 2003, Sean has also presented The Week in Politics, a weekly review of political events on RTÉ One. Sean has also worked on RTÉ Current Affairs programmes Today Tonight and Prime Time, as anchor for RTÉ Radio 1’s General Election coverage, as well as covering South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 and the Papal Conclave 2005. He was co presenter with Caroline Murphy in 1993 of the series Family Matters, on RTÉ One. He is a multiple winner of the PPI News Journalist of the Year Award.
Sean is married since (1985) to Caroline Murphy, a broadcaster and organisational psychologist, from Malahide, Co. Dublin. They have two daughters and four sons born between 1986 and 1998. NUIG conferred an honorary doctorate on Sean in 2011. They live in Killiney, Co Dublin.

Formerly RTÉ’s legal affairs correspondent/editor, Wilson’s incisive reporting won her many awards, including several Justice Media Awards. In 2006 she took on a new challenge, moving from the role of correspondent to the very different role of presenting the RTÉ Radio 1 Drivetime programme. She has produced and presented a number of documentaries for RTÉ Television. A native of Tipperary, her ties to the county are strong.


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