Tuesday 17 October 2017

Everything's coming up roses for Claire

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

BROADCASTER Claire Byrne will co-present RTE's 'Morning Ireland' programme for much of the summer.

The 36-year-old will provide holiday cover for regular presenters Cathal MacCoille, Rachael English and Gavin Jennings, as well as filling the vacancy caused by the resignation of reporter Aoife Kavanagh in the wake of the 'Prime Time Investigates' programme on Fr Kevin Reynolds.

However, she hasn't yet been given the green light by the state broadcaster to join the programme full time.

"I will do whatever I am asked to do," she told the Irish Independent.

"At the moment it's great to be working, so whatever they (RTE) ask me to do, I'm happy to do it within reason," said the Laois woman, who joined RTE from Newstalk two years ago.

Cover

In addition to her 'Morning Ireland' work, she will also be providing holiday cover for weekend host Marion Finucane, while continuing with her own 'Late Debate' radio programme and hosting RTE's Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The former TV3 presenter's arrival in RTE has coincided with the national broadcaster slashing costs, this week asking staff to take a 4pc cut in pay and allowances in an attempt to reduce costs by €25m this year.

Grateful

Asked if she would be prepared to take a pay cut, Ms Byrne said: "I'm happy to do whatever I can to help out and I think everybody feels the same.

"I am just grateful to be working."

One victim of the RTE cuts could be 'The Daily Show' which she co-presented with Daithi O Se.

The most recent season wrapped up in March and it is not yet known it if will be back on the air in September.

"I haven't heard anything as of yet, but last year we were very late hearing as well, so there could be hope.

"Things are difficult in RTE but there is still lots of work to do and lots of news to be told," she said.

Ms Byrne teams up with Aine Lawlor and Ella McSweeney tonight to host An Bord Bia's Bloom documentary on RTE1 at 7:30pm.

The five-day garden festival runs until Monday at the Phoenix Park in Dublin and features 27 show gardens, 100 Irish food and drink producers, 40 nurseries, 25 cookery demonstrations and 160 retailers.

Irish Independent

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