Michael Murphy says age to blame for 'early' end to RTE career
PRESENTER Michael Murphy has been given his last contract by RTE and is set to remain at the station for just three more months.
The Irish Independent has learnt that the 65-year-old psychologist – who overcame cancer – was offered an extension to his current deal with RTE earlier this month, following negotiations.
Murphy, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, has been working part-time at the national broadcaster for 40 years, as a continuity announcer, a newsreader and a producer.
However, last October he was handed a six-month contract for the first time and told it was because of his age.
"They called me in and sort of said, 'because of your age, you may not be receiving a contract', it was left as vague as that," he told the Irish Independent at the time.
This June, Murphy is expected to see his career on the airwaves end.
"Michael's colleagues have been very surprised to hear that he was only offered three months, he's an extremely popular guy in the newsroom and he is not the only golden oldie working in Montrose," a source told this newspaper.
"But it's typically the way that once you turn 65 in RTE, you're out the door."
A spokesperson for RTE said: "Michael is continuing broadcasting as a newscaster with RTE at present. He is employed on a casual contract."
RTE said it does not comment on individual cases.
Murphy has already revealed that his outlook on life changed after battling prostate cancer in 2007. "I'm lucky to be above ground," he said. "After something like cancer, you have to make your life count for something. I've no expectations any more – death can come knocking on the door at any moment."
Outside RTE, Murphy works at the practice he shares with husband Terry O'Sullivan in Sandyford, Co Dublin.