Signing off | 

Ciaran Mullooly retires as RTÉ Midlands correspondent

"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"
Ciaran Mullooly. Facebook

Ciaran Mullooly. Facebook Newsdesk

RTÉ Midlands correspondent Ciaran Mullooly is putting down his microphone as he takes early retirement from the national broadcaster.

The veteran journalist started his career with the Longford Leader newspaper 36 years ago and this morning the news was fittingly announced with a front page story in the same newspaper.

In a post on Facebook, Mullooly said: “Over the course of the last 36 years, I have worked with terrific colleagues and great journalists in both local and national media - going into television on the 'Ear To The Ground' show on RTE1 in 1993 and working for the station as Midlands Correspondent in the newsroom since 1995.

"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.”

He added: “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.”

The reporter said he was taking voluntary early retirement and his final day would be this Sunday June 27.

“I am leaving RTE News with some regret but also with considerable optimism for the future,” Mr Mullooly said, adding that he would now focus on voluntary and community work.

“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,” he said.

“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 life long learning with a return to education.”

Mullooly also thanked “everyone who has ever helped me in any way throughout my 36 years in journalism”, as well as his journalistic colleagues, his wife Angela and sons Eoghan and Bryan.

He added: “To my fellow correspondents in the regions, I say farewell. It has been a great pleasure to have driven the highways and byways alongside you as we covered events of all shapes and sizes down all the days.

"You are the public face of RTE - on-air and of it for thousands of people but the long journeys in the car and the late nights getting home are now over for me as I return to put my family first in the coming months.”

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