The decision by broadcaster Seán O’Rourke to retire as he approaches his 65th birthday is undoubtedly a blow not just to RTÉ but to the hundreds of thousands of listeners who admire and enjoy his morning radio show.
His was the steady hand that ensured solid consistency on RTÉ Radio 1 during a time of unexpected upheaval for the station.
That was in 2013 when its then flagship presenter, Pat Kenny, left to go to Newstalk.
Kenny had some of the highest audience ratings of any radio programme at the time and RTÉ bosses were worried that they would lose some of that audience and, with it, advertising revenue.
O’Rourke, already a veteran news broadcaster, proved the perfect choice to take over the slot.
He quickly made it his own, offering a more rounded and less lofty approach than Kenny’s while employing wit, commonsense and a wide knowledge of current affairs to win over and retain the audience share.
Seán will host his last programme on Friday, May 8.
We wish our journalist colleague well in his retirement.