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sun sets RTE's 'wonderful' weather presenter Jean Byrne retires from Met Eireann

Jean will, not only, no longer grace RTE screens but she has also left the Meteorological Office for good.

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Jean Byrne and her distinctive dresses

Jean Byrne and her distinctive dresses

Jean Byrne and her distinctive dresses

FAREWELL to the daring onscreen outfits, flamboyant jewellery, elaborate belts, funky footwear and eye-catching hairstyles – Ireland’s most famous weathergirl has retired.

The Sunday World can reveal that legendary Jean Byrne has pointed to her last meteorological chart and left for sunnier climates ahead.

Jean will, not only, no longer grace RTE screens while reading the weather after a quarter of a century, but she has also left the Meteorological Office for good.

Viewers may be tempted to reach for the nearest umbrella at the latest downpour of bad news, but Jean is hoping her own personal forecast is more positive - unlike when once she anticipated heavy, thundery showers and came out with the gem "hopefully they will stay in the West".

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Jean Byrne at The Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2019 at the Marker Hotel, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy

Jean Byrne at The Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2019 at the Marker Hotel, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy

Jean Byrne at The Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2019 at the Marker Hotel, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy

Jean declined to comment when approached by the Sunday World, but Met Éireann confirmed the much loved weather presenter’s departure when asked to comment.

“After a long career at Met Éireann and many years spent gracing our screens at RTÉ weather, Jean Byrne hung up her weather charts at the end of 2021,” a spokesperson said in a statement to us.

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Jean Byrne

Jean Byrne

Jean Byrne


“Although we will miss Jean’s presence both in the Met Éireann forecast office and on our screens, we wish Jean every happiness and success in the future.”

Prior to taking over as Head of Forecasting with Met Éireann and leaving our screens nearly four years ago, Evelyn Cusack rivalled Jean as Ireland’s most famous weather forecaster.

“Jean well deserves her new life ahead of her and her well earned rest,” Evelyn told us.

“I imagine she will relish not having to do shift work anymore, which can involve unsociable hours working late at night and at weekends.

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Evelyn Cusack

Evelyn Cusack

Evelyn Cusack

“She will be sorely missed and she has been a wonderful and loyal asset to Met Éireann down through the years.”

Jean is believed to have taken early retirement .

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Born in Tarbert, Co. Kerry, Jean went to boarding school in Tuam Co Galway, where she was educated by the Presentation nuns.

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Jean Byrne
has received
plenty of
attention for
her onscreen
appearance –
and now her
forecasting
skills have
been
honoured

Jean Byrne has received plenty of attention for her onscreen appearance – and now her forecasting skills have been honoured

Jean Byrne has received plenty of attention for her onscreen appearance – and now her forecasting skills have been honoured

She began to study medicine after leaving school but decided that it wasn't for her and applied for a job in the Irish Meteorological service.

Initially employed as a Meteorological Officer, Jean's interest in mathematics led her to study for her degree in Mathematical Sciences in Trinity College, Dublin, from which she graduated with honours.

Jean moved to a position in General Forecasting Division and since 1996 has regularly presented weather on RTÉ.

In 2011, Jean was awarded the European Meteorological Society's Weather Forecast Trophy Award.

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Jean Byrne at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2017 at The Marker Hotel Dublin.
Picture: Brian McEvoy

Jean Byrne at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2017 at The Marker Hotel Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy

Jean Byrne at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2017 at The Marker Hotel Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy

Outside of work, Jean's hobbies and interests include reading, walking, art and music.

She is also an animal lover and, living close to Dublin city centre, loves all that that has to offer, for example shopping and visiting art galleries.

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RTE weather presenter Jean Byrne

RTE weather presenter Jean Byrne

RTE weather presenter Jean Byrne

Jean’s stunning period house in Phibsboro was showcased on RTÉ. in 2019, when she narrowly lost to author John Boyne in Celebrity Home of the Year.

“When I bought the house it was actually restored at that point. It was in very good condition, but it was quite minimalist, and I restored a lot of the original features,” she said of her amazing Victorian pile.

“I sourced a lot of fireplaces; I’ve got an antique French bath which I absolutely love.

"The toilet is by a company called Crapper and it’s called The Venerable. The bed is a big brass antique bed that I got at auction”.

Jean said she loves shopping in Brown Thomas and going on exotic holidays.

"My biggest expenditure is definitely on clothes," she once admitted.

"It's not as premeditated as deciding to give up a holiday to buy a dress, but that's probably how it ends up. If I really want something, I'll do what I need to do to get it."

She also stressed that the designer shoes and catwalk creations come out of her own pocket.

"RTÉ. has paid for a couple of things, but it's a small allowance, relatively speaking," she pointed out. "It's nice to get, but it would buy about two or three jackets a year.

So if people say, 'Look at what she's wearing, is that what my taxpayers' money is going on?', well, no, the vast majority of clothes are ones I've bought myself."

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TV Now Awards 2010: Jean Byrne's signature style began to shine through.

TV Now Awards 2010: Jean Byrne's signature style began to shine through.

TV Now Awards 2010: Jean Byrne's signature style began to shine through.

Her favourite designers include Joanna Hynes and the late Alexander McQueen.

“I love extremely nice materials and very good tailoring, and things like Balmain I love as well, they're funky and they're edgy but they're actually very well cut,” she once stated.

“It's certain things that have a very unique feel to me. Things that are more or less very artistic. Original artistic things that are still wearable I really love.”

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Jean Byrne presenting the weather on RTE News

Jean Byrne presenting the weather on RTE News

Jean Byrne presenting the weather on RTE News

Famous for wearing black, she revealed she could not wear blue on air.

“In the weather office, we have a blue screen so you can't wear certain types of blue, not anything that's like a royal blue,” she disclosed.

“Certain patterns don't work either, they have what you call a strobing effect, so the best things are block colours.

"I take my work really seriously. I think some people think I spend ages choosing my outfit, when actually I spend ages examining the forecast, graphics, writing the script and then, five minutes before I'm due to go on-air, I get dressed."

She added with a smile: "With hindsight, I can see it did look like I was wearing nothing under it, the nude lining just didn't come across on TV when I watched it back."

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15/09/14
Jean Byrne at the opening night of Rock of Ages the Musical ,at the Board Gais Energy Theatre Dublin this evening
Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

15/09/14 Jean Byrne at the opening night of Rock of Ages the Musical ,at the Board Gais Energy Theatre Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

15/09/14 Jean Byrne at the opening night of Rock of Ages the Musical ,at the Board Gais Energy Theatre Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Such has been Jean’s sartorial appeal that even a Facebook appreciation page was set up in her honour and has over 1100 members.

“The only goth to ever work for RTE, Jean is simply the coolest Meteorologist in history,” claims its moderator.

Andrew Hamilton, who set up the site, says it's Jean's rebellious side that people love.

"I'm not that into fashion, but she's a free spirit on the national broadcaster, that is a breath of air,” he beamed.

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