News at One presenter Seán O'Rourke to replace Pat Kenny on RTÉ Radio 1

Saturday 10 August 2013 23.20
Seán O'Rourke to host new RTÉ Radio 1 show, replacing Today with Pat Kenny
Seán O'Rourke to host new RTÉ Radio 1 show, replacing Today with Pat Kenny

The presenter of RTÉ Radio 1's News at One programme, Seán O'Rourke, is to replace Pat Kenny as the presenter of the station's mid-morning programme between 10am and noon.

Mr O'Rourke has been the presenter of News at One since January 1995 and also the television programme The Week in Politics since 2003 which airs every Sunday night.

“It’s 40 years ago next month since I began a lifelong love affair with journalism and I can honestly say I am as excited about this move as I was the first day I climbed the stairs in the Connacht Tribune in September 1973.

"I love radio and I love news. Friends and colleagues however will know me as a huge sports fan and an avid reader.

"Not only will we break news, drive the debate and analyse the stories of the day, we’ll be getting stuck into much more than that," he said.

I hope people will come for the news and stay for the craic. Here’s to September 2nd,” added Mr O'Rourke. 

Born in Portlaoise in 1955 he was reared in Galway where he graduated from the NUI Galway. 

He was recently named PPI News Broadcaster of the Year for the third year in a row.

His earlier career included periods with the Connacht Tribune (reporter), The Sunday Press (sports journalist & feature writer), and The Irish Press (Political Correspondent).

Replacing him in the chair on the News at One are Áine Lawlor and Richard Crowley who will alternate as presenters.

Áine Lawlor also takes over as the new presenter of The Week in Politics on RTÉ One television.

“I’m swapping breakfast for lunchtime and relishing the challenge of a solo gig. The lunchtime news on radio is the peak of the current-affairs day, and it’s an honour to be at the very heart of the Radio 1 schedule,” said Ms Lawlor. 

Richard Crowley said: “Lunchtime news is a natural appointment to listen for hundreds of thousands of people all over the country."

He said: "It's one of the most challenging programmes on Irish radio and also one of the most exciting to present.”

Claire Byrne joins Morning Ireland as one of the core presenting team, and will continue to present Saturday with Claire Byrne on Radio 1, and Prime Time on RTÉ One television.

Miriam O’Callaghan will continue to present the key 9am slot for the autumn until John Murray returns.

Acting Managing Director of RTÉ Radio Jim Jennings said: "We’re honoured to have Miriam O’Callaghan continue for the autumn on Radio 1, and we look forward to welcoming John Murray back in due course."

"Miriam joins Claire Byrne, Rachael English, Mary Wilson and of course Áine Lawlor in the daytime Radio 1 schedule. Truly, the women are on air," Mr Jennings added. 

Ms O’Callaghan said she has “hugely enjoyed" the 9am slot on RTÉ Radio 1.

"I love radio and I love the 9am slot. I’m delighted to continue in the slot for the autumn and look forward to more really strong human interest stories,” she added. 

RTÉ confirmed that John Murray will return in the coming months.