Cathal Mac Coille grew up in the Clondalkin area of Dublin but now lives on the northside, in Phibsborough. He caught the journalistic bug during a summer spent editing the Irish language magazine Comhar before returning to his studies for his BA in History at UCD. He worked as a researcher on several RTÉ radio programmes before getting his first job on the Nuacht desk in the newsroom in 1975. Cathal worked as a reporter with RTÉ's Belfast staff for six years.
On his return to Dublin in 1984, he had spells presenting both the lunchtime news and This Week before starting a four-year stint as presenter of Morning Ireland in 1986. He then spent 11 years away from the programme, first as news editor and later assistant editor of the Sunday Tribune, then as TG4's political correspondent. He's been a regular on Morning Ireland since his return in 2001.
In 2011, he was named PPI News Broadcaster of the Year. Other awards include a Jacobs radio prize in 1990 and Oireachtas na Gaeilge Journalist of the Year in 2003.
Cathal's most memorable professional experience was covering the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 as the deal was done - "one of those days when you realize that politics can progress, no matter what complications or mistakes hold things up on the way."
His most newsworthy Morning Ireland interview was probably his breakfast-time chat with Taoiseach Brian Cowen at Fianna Fáil's autumn gathering in Galway in 2010, although it made headlines worldwide for reasons that arose only partialy from what was said. Cathal has also enjoyed the opportunity to talk at greater length on the RTE One television series 'One to One' - interviews with poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi, economist Alan Ahearne and historian Joe Lee were among the most satisfying.
His off-air interests include keeping in touch with off-spring in London and Japan and, more easily, the two still in Ireland. Otherwise? Cycling, swimming, hurling, and listening to music (our own NSO is his live favourite). History and politics dominate his reading, and he admits to getting through only about ten novels in a good year.
Television (apart from news and current affairs) is for fun, Saturday night soccer, GAA and Inspector Montalbano anytime it's on, and the endless surprises of TG4. In another life, he would have been a teacher. "Wanted to, but didn't have the courage."