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Signing off RTÉ News correspondent Tommie Gorman to retire after 41-year broadcasting career

Mr Gorman famously interviewed Roy Keane, after the former Ireland captain was sent home from Saipan by manager Mick McCarthy on the eve of Ireland’s World Cup campaign, following a row between the pair.

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Tommie Gorman will sign off after 41 years this April.

Tommie Gorman will sign off after 41 years this April.

Tommie Gorman will sign off after 41 years this April.

Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor for RTÉ News, is to retire in April after 41 years, RTÉ have announced.

The State broadcaster announced that Vincent Kearney, currently northern correspondent for RTÉ, will step into the role upon Mr Gorman’s retirement.

Jon Williams, RTÉ’s managing director, described Mr Gorman as “the beating heart” of RTÉ News for 41 years, in a statement this morning, and described the news as bittersweet on Twitter.

“For 41 years, from Brussels to Belfast, via Sligo and Saipan, Tommie Gorman has been the beating heart of RTÉ News. He has earned the trust of audiences, north and south - and of all sides in Northern Ireland, telling their story, sharing his insights, and championing RTÉ’s role as an all-island news organisation,” Mr Williams said.

Mr Williams said the veteran reporter is “beloved by colleagues, trusted by our audiences - and by all sides in Northern Ireland. Forever grateful,” in a tweet announcing Mr Gorman’s retirement.

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Tommie Gorman

Tommie Gorman

Tommie Gorman

Mr Gorman also famously interviewed Roy Keane, after the former Ireland captain was sent home from Saipan by manager Mick McCarthy on the eve of Ireland’s World Cup campaign, following a row between the pair.

His successor Vincent Kearney said Mr Gorman will “leave behind an amazing legacy” and said he has “huge shoes to fill."

“I am delighted to be the person given the opportunity to be the person to fill them,” Mr Kearney said.

Vincent Kearney has a long history of reporting from Northern Ireland, having worked for the Belfast Telegraph, as home affairs correspondent for BBC Northern Ireland, as northern correspondent for the Sunday Times among other roles in a 32-year journalism career.

Managing director Jon Williams said: “Few know and understand Northern Ireland better than Vincent Kearney”.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also paid tribute to Mr Gorman in a tweet this morning, for his “ground-breaking, insightful analysis."

“Tommie, we’ll miss you. It’s the end of an era, of award-winning reporting on EU affairs, and ground-breaking, insightful analysis of Northern Irish politics. The hand of history was on your shoulder. Enjoy your retirement. You deserve every second of it,” Mr Varadkar said, while congratulating his successor Vincent Kearney.

Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP, described Mr Gorman's career as a “model of selfless service” to Ireland.

“There isn’t a politician in the North, and probably across the whole island, who hasn’t experienced the sudden flash of nerves as you finish making a statement in front of the press, and Tommie Gorman emerges from the pack to ask, in his quietly forceful manner, the blinder of a question you were hoping not to get. I’ve seen lyrical leaders choke for answers and occasionally have to be rescued by colleagues when they’re caught,” he said.

Eastwood said Mr Gorman's questioning was never “cynically destructive” and always sought to ask the questions that need answers, but to do so in a way that is constructive.

“Tommie has given decades of selfless service to the people of this island, reporting on some of the worst aspects of our recent history, but always seeking to tell human stories about the endless possibilities of our peace. I have always been particularly grateful for his commitment to telling the stories of people in Derry and I know the people of this city hold him in high regard as a result.”

Eastwood wished Mr Gorman a “richly happy and healthy retirement” and added he can “enjoy swapping cold, wet nights outside Stormont for the Showgrounds chasing more lost causes with his beloved Sligo Rovers.”

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