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Sean O'Rourke has announced he's retiring from RTÉ

O’Rourke will present his last show on Friday 8 May.

Updated Apr 21st 2020, 12:12 PM

RTÉ PRESENTER SEAN O’Rourke has said he is set to retire next month.

The long-time host will be presenting his last show on Friday 8 May.

The journalist has presented Today with Sean O’Rourke in the 10am slot on RTÉ Radio One on weekdays since 2013. 

He made the sudden announcement at the close of his show today. 

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

Ronan Collins, taking over from O’Rourke in his usual midday music slot today, paid tribute to the long-serving current affairs host before playing a snippet of the Edith Piaf classic Je ne Regrette Rien.

Tom McGuire, head of RTÉ Radio One, said: “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.

Colleague Bryan Dobson tweeted that only a few presenters are “truly irreplaceable” and that O’Rourke could count himself among them. 

O’Rourke was born in Portlaoise in 1955, the sixth son in a family of eight. He completed a BA in English, History and Legal Science at NUI Galway in 1977.

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He first joined RTÉ in 1982 as a presenter/reporter on radio news features. He’s also presented The Week in Politics, and as an occasional presenter for RTÉ current affairs programmes Today Tonight and Prime Time. 

In 2011, he was conferred with an honorary doctorate by NUI Galway and is an honorary professor in the university’s school of journalism.

Before working for RTÉ, O’Rourke worked as a sports journalist and features writer for the Sunday Press and was also  political correspondent for the Irish Press in the 1980s.

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