Friday, May 24, 2024

‘Done and dusted’ – RTÉ correspondent Eileen Magnier retires after 39 years at national broadcaster

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The veteran reporter interviewed Minister Catherine Martin at Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Sligo yesterday on her last assignment for the broadcaster.

“Done and dusted – thanks for all the good wishes – packed up a few souvenirs as I left the RTÉ studio in Sligo today,” Ms Magnier wrote on social media.

The RTÉ northwest correspondent announced last month that she was packing up the RTÉ microphone and camera.

“I’ve decided to retire early and start on the bucket list. It’s been an honour to work as NW Corr for 34 years,” the Kilkenny city native said at the time.

Ms Magnier started off in RTÉ as a junior reporter after moving from People Newspapers in Wexford in the early 1980s. She has a degree in History and Politics from University College Dublin.

She was the first female correspondent at the broadcaster, having joined RTÉ in 1985, having been appointed as northwest correspondent just five years later.

Today’s News in 90 seconds – 3rd May 2024

Her initial beat was in covering Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan from 1989 after previous northwest correspondent Tommie Gorman was moved to cover Northern Ireland.

After RTÉ appointed a northeast correspondent, her counties were Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim.

She is married to former Mayo footballer TJ Kilgallon, who she met at a wedding, with the couple sharing three adult children; Hayley, Dylan and Evanne Kilgallon.

Ms Magnier reported on the Creeslough tragedy that took place at a service station in Donegal in October 2022, leading to the death of 10 people.

She described this in an interview with Donegal Daily as one of the darkest days and tragedies she had to report on in her career spanning four decades.

In a statement released to RTÉ last month, she said her role gave her a front row seat to every big story that has happened and that she has been delighted to work on “really positive things”.

She said that she reported on a huge amount of tragedy, which she hopes was in an “empathic and respectful way”.

“The job of a regional correspondent is a unique and very important one and I am very proud to have been part of the RTÉ News team around the country,” she said.

“It can be a tough job, emotionally draining, physically exhausting but also hugely satisfying, and as a team, I know we all do our best to represent the people of the areas we cover in the true spirit of public service broadcasting.”

Tributes and well wishes flooded in from colleagues for Ms Magnier following her final assignment.

Miriam O Callaghan wrote: “The very best for the future Eileen. We will all miss you greatly – another superb journalist moving on. You’re been a wonderful voice for the North West for so long.”

RTÉ’s Morning Ireland presenter Aine Lawlor said: “Beir bua, a chara. We’re a long way from Grove Park now! Wishing you the best.”

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