'I’ve had an absolute ball': RTÉ's Sean O’Rourke announces retirement

'I’ve had an absolute ball': RTÉ's Sean O’Rourke announces retirement

Broadcaster Sean O’Rourke has announced that he will retire as presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s Today programme.

O’Rourke has been at the helm of the show since 2013 and his departure marks the end of over 25 years as a presenter of daily news and current affairs on RTÉ Radio 1.

“For nearly seven years now it’s been my great privilege to sit in the best current affairs chair in Irish broadcasting,” said O’Rourke.

“But nothing is forever. I’m going to be 65 in May. And that’ll be as good a time as any to end the great adventure of Today SOR.

“I’ve had an absolute ball - daily interviews, debates, elections, referendums, a memorable encounter with the Donald in Doonbeg... some great music and song, and the odd bit of hand-to-hand studio combat.

“All of it with a light dusting of fun, as we promised you at the very start.

And all made possible by really talented, hard-working and loyal colleagues, to whom I’ll be forever grateful.

His final show will be on Friday, May 8.

He took over the mid-morning slot from current-Newstalk presenter Pat Kenny and had a high of 354,000 listeners each day. 

O'Rourke previously presented News at One and The Week in Politics on RTÉ and prior to joining the broadcaster worked as a sports journalist and features writer for The Sunday Press and was the political correspondent for The Irish Press.

"Sean O'Rourke's contribution to Irish journalism, and to RTÉ, is hugely significant," said Dee Forbes, Director-General at RTÉ. 

"From his start at the Connacht Tribune in 1973 to his latest years at the helm of our key morning current affairs radio programme, Sean has navigated and dissected the stories of the day with a rigour, tenacity, clarity and drive that is unmatched.

"His love for radio and for news, his passion for sport and reading, meant that he was an enormously well-rounded presenter too; informed, interested, and interesting."

Tom McGuire, Head of RTÉ Radio 1, added: "Sean O’Rourke has been at the core of the Radio 1 schedule throughout his broadcasting career. A peerless journalist, particularly in current affairs and news.

"To coin one of his own phrases, his move from News at One to Today with Sean O’Rourke proved that not only could he play ‘senior hurling’ but senior football as well. A true dual star."

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