The Managing Director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs, Jon Williams, has confirmed that he will leave RTÉ at the end of July.

Director General Dee Forbes paid tribute to Mr Williams describing him as "a hugely valued member of the RTÉ's executive board".

In a note to staff this afternoon, Mr Williams said that nine years after he left London, first to New York and then to Dublin, "it's time to go home".

He added: "I chose to stay in Dublin during the pandemic, alone and unable to see those I love for long periods of time. I don't mind admitting that I found that hard - and like so many others, it forced me to reassess my priorities and to prize family."

Mr Williams said that in 2017 as RTÉ faced significant challenges, three editorial priorities were identified to "future-proof RTÉ News & Current Affairs: to become a genuinely 'digital-first' news organisation; to deliver more regional content; and to work more closely as 'one News and Current Affairs' division".

He added: "Fast forward five years, and last week's Reuters Digital News Report demonstrated that, today, not only is RTÉ the most trusted news source in Ireland, but RTÉ News is also the clear market leader online, while cementing its place as the number one choice on radio and TV."

Mr Williams added that RTÉ News & Current Affairs was "Ireland's lifeline during the pandemic" and hailed the coverage of Brexit and the reporting on the war in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis "there, and here".

He also expressed his pride at the Six One News being the first news programme in Ireland to be presented by two women - Caitríona Perry and the late Keelin Shanley - and said he is "broken-hearted that Keelin didn't get longer to enjoy her success".

Mr Williams told staff that having "the opportunity to lead RTÉ News and Current Affairs has been the greatest privilege".

Ms Forbes thanked Mr Williams for his contribution to RTÉ during his five-and-a-half years in the role and for "the passion and dedication to journalism that he has brought to his role since day one".

She added: "As Jon returns to the UK to spend time with his family, he can do so in the knowledge that he has left a strong legacy."