herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

I nearly retired, says Pat's RTE rival Sean

RTE chose him to go head to head with Pat Kenny on Newstalk.

But broadcaster Sean O'Rourke has revealed how he nearly took early retirement from the station last year.

In a career which has seen him host Morning Ireland, News at One and The Week In Politics, he was ready to walk out the door after more than 40 years as a journalist.

But it was his wife, Caroline, who reminded Sean the move wasn't practical, as four of their six children were still in full-time education.

Incredibly a year later he finds himself with his biggest job yet in RTE starting on September 2.

CHANCE

"Boy am I glad now I didn't leave. I never thought I'd get a chance like this," Mr O'Rourke told the RTE Guide.

The first inkling that something was going to happen came last month when Sean, then on holiday in Donegal, was asked to meet MD of RTE Radio Jim Jennings in a Monaghan hotel.

The came after RTE director general Noel Curran rang to say he was on the shortlist to replace Pat Kenny.

"I didn't know whether (Jennings) was going to interview me for the job or offer me the job.

"But I suspected he wouldn't be travelling from Dublin or asking me to travel from Donegal to be an interview. I felt on that drive down this could be the start of a great adventure, one that I never expected to come my way," he said.

One of his most exciting moments came soon after when he broke the news to his wife, fellow broadcaster Caroline Murphy.

FRIEND

"I said to her: 'None of this would be happening without you'. And she said: 'Tell me something I don't know'."

Mr O'Rourke paid tribute to his wife as both "a great critic and a great friend".

Sean O'Rourke makes his debut on Today which airs on RTE Radio One on Monday, September 2.

hnews@herald.ie

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