Wednesday 23 August 2017

Will former Mary Mitchell O'Connor adviser Alan Cantwell rejoin TV3... again?

Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Alan Cantwell
Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Alan Cantwell
Alan Cantwell Picture: Tom Burke
Alan Cantwell and Mary Mitchell O'Connor enjoy a 'last supper' Photo: Twitter
New job: Alan Cantwell. Photo: Frank McGrath
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Former TV3 broadcaster Alan Cantwell said he plans to "take a holiday" after resigning as adviser to Enterprise minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor.

The 48-year-old journalist was hired by the Fine Gael TD last May as director of communications at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Alan Cantwell Picture: Tom Burke
Alan Cantwell Picture: Tom Burke

Asked about his future plans, and whether he would return to television, he said: "I'm going to take a holiday, that's what I'm going to do."

He added: "It is what it is. A statement went out about the matter on Wednesday and there's nothing more to say on it really."

Mr Cantwell indicated earlier this week how he was leaving the role for "personal reasons".

There was nothing else behind the decision, he said.

New job: Alan Cantwell. Photo: Frank McGrath
New job: Alan Cantwell. Photo: Frank McGrath

The surprise news came amid speculation about another return to TV3, the station he left to join Ms O'Connor.

Mr Cantwell had rejoined the station in October 2015 after a three-year break from broadcasting.

He had worked as a news anchor with TV3 since the station launched in 1998.

He was one of its key news anchors until January 2013 when he announced his decision to leave the job.

His name has now been mooted as a possible news anchor on TV3's weekend news coverage amid speculation it will merge newsrooms with UTV Ireland.

The two stations are owned by Virgin Media, which is part of the Richard Branson company, Liberty Global.

Ms O'Connor (inset)released a statement in the wake of his resignation in which she thanked Mr Cantwell for his work over the past five months.

"I would like to thank Alan for his loyal service, dedication and advice throughout his time as my special adviser," she said.

"His professionalism and work ethic was exemplary.

"Alan is a good colleague and friend and I am sad to see him leave. I wish him well in his future career," she added.

Ms O'Connor (inset) has been in the firing line lately amid recent criticism from Fine Gael colleagues over the lack of job creation in rural areas.

She also had her pre-budget plans shot down.


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