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'I don't think we got it because we're women': Caitriona Perry and Keelin Shanley on Six One jobs

The pair also made clear that they were happy with their pay.

RTE Six One News - Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry 1 Source: RTÉ

THE NEWS DROPPED today that Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry are set to be the new presenters of the RTÉ Six One.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, the pair said they were both approached for the roles. Shanley said:

There’s no advertising system for the Six One.

“It has been under discussion for a few weeks now but really it has only been confirmed in the last few days.”

The pair looked visibly excited when talking about the upcoming gig in RTÉ studios, with Perry telling reporters, “It’s a bit of a blur really. Our heads are spinning a little bit.”

Shanley added, “I’d never have seen it was going to be two women on the Six One so I’m really pleased about that.”

When asked what kind of message it sends out that all the presenters of the two main television bulletin on RTÉ will be women, Perry said: “A fabulous one.”

“I think it’s great. I think it is in many ways a brave and enlightened choice by our boss here, John Williams. Particularly given the debate that there has been in Ireland about gender bias and [how] certain other shows are very male dominated, or stations are male dominated.”

Shanley was quick to add:

I don’t think we got it because we’re women. I don’t think we would have wanted it on that basis either.

A sign of things to come, she started a sentence, “I think we got it” … “on merit”, Perry added, completing her colleague’s thought.

“We are both solid journalists,” continued Shanley, before telling Perry that her work in Washington has been amazing:

“You went out there and you really created something out of it.

Acknowledging that Shanley has had roles in Prime Time, Morning Ireland and the now decommissioned Morning Edition, Perry said:

We’ve both been around the block, we’ve both won lots of awards, we both have, I think, the respect of our peers. We’re known for our integrity and our straightness.

Happy with paychecks

When asked about their pay, the pair said they’ve been through pay negotiations and they are both happy with their remuneration. Perry said:

“It’s more about a new massive opportunity for both of us and a new chapter in the life of the Six One in Irish society so that’s very much where we’re focused on.”

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They have worked together just once in the past with Shanley explaining it was during the Northern Ireland elections … “the night Peter Robinson lost his seat in Westminster”.

Perry said they spent the whole count night in a leisure centre “swapping stories and coffees”.

Shanley added, “That was the one night we were actually in it together, in the thick of it, until 4 o’clock in the morning, waiting to see what was happening.”

Shanley also said the pair have interviewed each other for different shows down the years.

Perry said, “We get on together well, we’ve worked together lots. We even have the same wedding anniversary, so we’re kindred spirits.”

Shanley added, “There will be a fight about getting that night off” with Perry suggesting that they’ll “have to rotate it”.

Read: Caitriona Perry and Keelin Shanley are the new presenters of Six One News>

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