Former head of RTÉ Television Noel Curran has been appointed Director-General of RTÉ, Chairman of the RTÉ Board Tom Savage has announced.

He is due to take up his position in February 2011.

Prior to becoming Managing Director of Television, Mr Curran worked as a journalist, editor and producer within RTÉ.

In a statement, Mr Curran said: 'RTÉ has a unique role and a unique responsibility in Irish life. It also has a unique relationship with its audience.

'Whatever challenges lie ahead, I hope to see that bond strengthened.'

The vacancy was announced in July after the decision by the current Director-General, Cathal Goan, to step down after completing his full seven-year term.

Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan has welcomed Mr Curran's appointment.

Minister Ryan said: 'Noel brings a wealth of experience and imagination to this position - strong investigative instincts coupled with an appreciation of the needs of the audience.

'I am confident that RTÉ will maintain the highest standards of public service broadcasting under his leadership.'