'Excited' | 

RTÉ's Brian O'Donovan lands new gig after finishing Washington Correspondent post

The journalist, who spent four years working in the United States has been announced as RTÉ's new Work and Technology correspondent
Brian O’Donovan

Brian O’Donovan

Clodagh Meaney

RTÉ star Brian O’Donovan has landed a brand new gig after finishing up his post as Washington correspondent with the national broadcaster.

The journalist, who spent four years working in the United States has been announced as RTÉ's new Work and Technology correspondent.

He finishes up his current job stateside this month and will begin his new role in February 2022.

Commenting on his new job, Brian said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a complete reimagining of how we all work and technology has allowed us to make these major transitions.”

“As people navigate their way through the 'new normal', I am excited to be taking on the role of Work and Technology Correspondent, a position that will be at the centre of RTÉ's coverage of our changing world."

The new post replaces that of the Employment and Industry correspondent role which was previously held by Ingrid Miley before she retired from RTÉ earlier this year.

As part of his new position, Brian will report on and analyse our working lives, how they are changing and the wide-ranging developments in technology.

He will report on the future of work and employment within the industry, as well as on public and private companies, small businesses and sole traders.

As correspondent he will cover a wide variety of industrial relations including the non-union sector, workers unions, disputes, negotiations and public sector pay deals.

Brian moved to Washington in 2017 as the RTÉ correspondent

Brian moved to Washington in 2017 as the RTÉ correspondent

He will also bring news about the influence of employment and health and safety legislation, as well as any news on EU directives and policies that may affect our working lives.

As part of the technology side of his role he will report on developments in big tech firms and Irish tech start-ups, data protection and the Irish Data Protection Commission, as well as consumer technology and the threat to security and personal safety through technology use.

During his time as the Washington Correspondent for RTÉ, Brian covered two presidential impeachments, the Covid-19 crisis, the US presidential election and the storming of the US Capitol Building.

He also covered aspects of the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

While nobody new has yet been appointed to replace Brian in Washington, it has been reported that RTÉ have struggled to recruit a replacement forcing them to re-advertise the role internally.

Reporters Samantha Libreri, Jackie Fox, Laura Hogan and Fergal O’Brien have all been linked to the role as speculation mounts about whom might take up the coveted position.

“One of the biggest things anyone going for the job is going to have to consider is family. Are you married? Are you in a partnership? What will they do with their job? And how will it impact your children?,” Brian said of the role in an interview with the Irish Independent.

“My wife Joanna is a primary school teacher, so she was able to take a four-year career break, but not everybody is in that position. I know there are colleagues in RTÉ who would love this job, but often it’s the family consideration that comes into it.”

“When Caitriona Perry was over, she didn’t have her child, she had her daughter afterwards; Richard Downes came over with teenagers, Robert Shortt had very young children. For the others, I don’t think kids were on the scene,” he said of his predecessor.

“Does it break down along gender lines? I don’t know, but what I would say is, male or female, if they have children, they’re going to need an understanding spouse because — as my wife can attest — the nature of breaking news means family plans will change and you need flexibility.”

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