Broadcasting great Donncha Ó Dúlaing is to retire next month, with his final Fáilte Isteach programme airing on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday April 25. 

In the course of his career with RTÉ since 1954, Ó Dúlaing interviewed, among others, Presidents Patrick Hillery and Éamon de Valera, Pope John Paul II, Mick Jagger, Gene Kelly, Siobhán McKenna, Maureen O'Hara, Christy Ring and John Steinbeck.

Among his many programmes were Highways and Byways and Donncha's Sunday on RTÉ Radio 1 and the RTÉ television shows Donncha at Adare, Donncha at Bantry House and Donncha's Travelling Road Show.

His charity walks have brought him into the lives of thousands of people around Ireland and the globe, and have helped to raise millions for a variety of causes.

Paying tribute to the Cork great, Tom McGuire, Head of RTÉ Radio 1, said: "As might be said in 'the parlour of dreams', Donncha Ó Dúlaing's retirement brings the latch down on a broadcasting door that welcomed thousands of listeners to RTÉ Radio 1 over the decades.  

"The compendium of story, song and chat which Donncha brought to a national and international audience was unrivalled."

McGuire continued: "His good humour, self-deprecating manner, anecdotes and memories brightened many a lonely evening for those living a solitary life but also became the focus of debate and argument in kitchens and corner shops.  

"Donncha was the epitome of the 'public service broadcaster' who through his work has made an immense contribution to Irish life and lives over the past 60 years."