RTÉ Political Correspondent David McCullagh has been confirmed as a new presenter of the current affairs programme Prime Time.

He will join Miriam O'Callaghan and Claire Byrne to present the show, which is broadcast on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights on RTÉ One television.

Mr McCullagh was born in Dublin and educated at Newpark Comprehensive, Blackrock and UCD where he graduated with a PhD in Politics.

He worked at the Evening Press from 1989 until he joined RTÉ in 1993.

He has been a political correspondent for RTÉ since 2001.

Mr McCullagh has also researched and presented Behind Closed Doors, an annual programme on the release of State Papers under the 30-year rule.

He won a National Media Award in 1999 for his television documentary, Declaring the Republic.

He is also the author of two books: A Makeshift Majority: the First Inter-party Government (1998) and The Reluctant Taoiseach: A biography of John A Costello (2010).

Speaking about the appointment, Managing Editor RTÉ Current Affairs David Nally said: "David has shown himself to be one of the most knowledgeable and thorough journalists in RTÉ as well as being a broadcaster of proven excellence.

"He is someone whom Irish audiences trust and respect and his move to Prime Time is a very positive development for the programme."

Mr McCullagh said: "I'm really delighted to be taking up this new opportunity.

"It's a chance to be part of a fantastic team which has been responsible for producing top class coverage of current affairs.

"After 20 years in the RTÉ Newsroom, 12 of them as Political Correspondent, this is a big change for me, and a huge challenge, but I'm really looking forward to it".

The new series of Prime Time returns this Thursday night at 9.35pm with the latest on Syria, as the US moves closer to military action, and a debate on whether the Irish banking system is working for its customers.