Tributes pour in as Cathal McCoille says goodbye to RTÉ Radio 1

This morning marked the final broadcast for RTÉ's Cathal MacCoille as presenter of Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 as he retires.

To mark his final sign off, Rachael English paid tribute to the journalist who she has had the “absolute privilege to work with”.

Following the programme a large group of colleagues gathered in the RTÉ Newsroom to wish him well and acknowledge his contribution to Irish journalism.

Managing Director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs, Jon Williams said:

"His greatest legacy is the generation of RTÉ journalists who were shaped by working with Cathal - who he imbued with his values of decency, curiosity & rigour. He will always be part of the RTÉ family."

Colleague Aine Lawlor said:

"When Cathal was returning to present Morning Ireland in 2001 I said to David Hanley who previously presented with him “So what’s he like?”. He was a pol corr at that stage with TnaG, he used to come in and do great interviews with us.

"You’d see him up at the Belfast Peace Talks running round with his bike he brought up on the train and all that kind of craic. And Hanley turned around and he said “He’s quite mad you know. But he is quite brilliant as you’ll see.” And then he paused and he said “He’s also rather nice”. And I think he was bang on.

"A quiet brilliant man, the soul of the programme. People talk about all kinds of things but I think Morning Ireland has a soul - a heathen soul – but a noble soul and I think it’s his. He embody's it and I wish him the very best

Listeners also took to Twitter to wish him farwell:

Cathal himself remarked:

"I do know for all kinds of reasons, nothing is forever and I also know that there are all kinds of other things that I want to do and will look forward to doing. I don’t know what they are yet, but I’ve got a few ideas!"

It wasn't just his retirement that made it a special day for the journalist, he happened to take his first ever selfie on his last morning cycle to work, "by accident".

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