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Veteran RTÉ newsman Ciaran Mullooly shows his sons around Donnybrook before retirement

The journalist started working with RTÉ in 1995 after starting his career with the Longford Leader newspaper

Ciaran and his sons Eoghan and Bryan

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Veteran RTÉ newsman Ciaran Mullooly brought his children in to meet some of his colleagues and show them around on one of his final days at the broadcaster.

The Midlands Correspondent who has announced that he would be taking early retirement has said he made the decision “with some regret but also with considerable optimism for the future”.

As he finished up his final days with the station Ciaran brought his two sons, Eoghan and Bryan, in to Donnybrook and thanked all those who have reached out and offered him the best of luck in his retirement.

Alongside a series of photos posted on social media, the reporter wrote: “I am bowled over by the reaction to my decision to retire early from @rtenews. Thank you ALL for the calls & texts. It’s been a privilege to do the job for 27 years.

“I am humbled & thankful to great colleagues who met with my boys on last day in @rte Donnybrook. New chapter soon.”

In one shot the family is pictured in the news studio while another features a socially distanced photo with Brian Dobson.

The journalist started working with RTÉ, becoming the Midlands Correspondent in the newsroom in 1995, after first starting his career with the Longford Leader newspaper 36 years ago.

Ciaran explained that while he is ready for retirement, he will remain active in volunteering.

In a post on Facebook he wrote: “Many people will know that, throughout my time in journalism, I have also worked extensively as a volunteer in the area of community development and social enterprise – most notably in recent times in my home community of Ballyleague & Lanesborough on the Roscommon-Longford border where we have developed a unique social enterprise to provide valuable support services for people with disability.

“I am pleased to say that, in the coming weeks and months, my life will focus more and more on a new role in the areas of community development and social enterprise.

“The time is right for me to move on and I look forward to working with rural communities and disadvantaged sectors to help rebuild their own lives and communities after the difficult times of the pandemic. I also intend to continue my lifelong learning with a return to education.”

He added: "I have enjoyed many great days during that time, experienced the highs and lows of news coverage, reported on some of the happiest and the saddest of occasions and made many great friends.

“Without any doubt, the last 15 months of my career have been among the toughest periods of those 36 years - both personally and professionally.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought us all in journalism face to face with huge loss and suffering, many have lost friends and loved ones, many have encountered serious illness and the restrictions have taken us away from the part of the job we loved most - the daily face to face meetings and social interaction with men and women in all walks of life - especially all my old friends and acquaintances in Longford, Westmeath, Laois, Offaly, Kildare and Roscommon.

"I am sure it will not always be like so - but for the most part the weekly routine of the job has changed quite significantly and the memories of the last 15 months will be difficult to erase.”

He also thanked "my wife Angela and my sons Bryan and Eoghan for their immense understanding, love and support in coming to this decision".

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