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last day

'Dobbo has left the building': Bryan Dobson signs off for the last time after 37 years at RTÉ

Dobson first joined RTÉ in 1987, and has gone on to present all of the station’s flagship news programmes.

LAST UPDATE | 3 May

LONGSTANDING RTÉ BROADCASTER Bryan Dobson has retired today from RTÉ after 37 years at the broadcaster. 

In his farewell broadcast on the News at One programme this afternoon, Dobson thanked his colleagues at RTÉ, his listeners and viewers over the years and all the guests who have given interviews on the different shows he has presented.

After saying his thank yous and goodbyes, the veteran news presenter said, “Dobbo has left the building” as applause could be heard in the radio studio.

“They make me sound good,” he said of the production team on the News at One programme. 

“Broadcasting is a team game and I’ve been lucky to work with some of the very best teams in this business,” he said. 

Dobson also took a moment to thank politicians from across the spectrum for “making themselves accountable” by agreeing to do interviews with him.

“It’s a vital strength of our democracy that our elected representatives, the people who we choose to govern, come on the airwaves to answer for their decisions, and long may that continue,” he said. 

He thanked his listeners and viewers, who he said “possess a highly developed waffle detector”.  

Finally, he thanked his wife and two daughters for their support throughout his career, saying, “They have been my motivation and my strength and my support”.

“It’s been a great 37 years but the time has come to say, if I can borrow a phrase, that Dobbo has left the building.”

Dobson first joined RTÉ in 1987, and went on to present all of the station’s flagship news programmes. He is best known as the face of the Six One News, which he anchored for 21 years.

RTÉ director general Kevin Bakhurst said in January that Dobson “represents the best in public service journalism”.

“For many years, he has brought a calm authority to the most important stories,” Bakhurst said.

“Every day, he demonstrates a depth of knowledge and an absolute integrity in his work and has never been afraid to ask the toughest questions and hold the powerful to account. Personally, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with him,” he said.

Long career

Dobson first joined RTÉ in 1987 as a reporter with the RTÉ Radio One This Week programme. He was then appointed RTÉ’s Business Correspondent, as well as presenting the television business programme Marketplace.

In 1991, he became presenter of RTÉ’s One O’Clock News, later moving to present the Nine O’Clock News programme before being appointed anchor of the Six One News in 1996.

He spent 21 years at the flagship programme, before moving to be part of the presenting team on Morning Ireland in 2017, the most listened to radio programme in Ireland.

Dobson has also worked on a number of RTÉ documentary programmes including The Madness from Within, an account of the Irish Civil War; Witnesses to War, which featured interviews with Irish veterans of the Second World War and guest presented special programmes on the Lusitania and 1916 Rising for RTÉ Nationwide.

Elsewhere, Eileen Magnier also retired from RTÉ.

GMl_PcuWsAAhxpG Eileen Magnier, who signed off for the last time after 30 years with RTÉ Eileen Magnier Eileen Magnier

She signed off for the final time yesterday after close to 40 years with the broadcaster. 

President Michael D Higgins was among those to pay tribute to Magnier and congratulated her on a “wonderful career in which she made history”.

Higgins said the well-wishes paid to her is a “testament to the commitment and professionalism demonstrated throughout her career”.

She was the first female correspondent for RTÉ and Higgins said he remembers Magnier for her “good judgement and sensitive reporting of the tragedy that unfolded in Creeslough”. 

“She brought the immense and bewildering sense of loss being experienced by the local community into the consciousness of the wider public in a way that demonstrated the best of public broadcasting,” said Higgins. 

 With reporting from Hayley Halpin and David Mac Redmond

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