Pat Kenny is 'life and soul' of RTE party as Sean O'Rourke misses out
HE may have left the national broadcaster for pastures new, but Pat Kenny was the "life and soul" at a party for his former RTE Radio One producer.
The 66-year-old presenter joined former colleagues at a dinner for Kay Sheehy last Thursday in the Merrion Inn in Dublin.
Ms Sheehy was one of four producers working on Kenny's mid-morning RTE show. She recently left the programme after eight years.
The weekday slot was taken over by Sean O'Rourke in September 2013 when Kenny joined Newstalk and there have been a number of changes to the team over the past six months.
A source told the Irish Independent that after nearly a decade of service, Sheehy's colleagues wanted to give her a "proper send off".
Kenny was among the guests at the intimate gathering, but O'Rourke did not attend as he is currently enjoying a two-week holiday in the Caribbean.
"Kay was an integral part of the team and programme for a long time and she worked with Pat for the majority of her stint," the source added.
"The group had their own area in the restaurant and they all looked delighted to see Pat when he arrived. He was the life and soul of the party."
In the move from 'News At One' to the vacant mid-morning slot, O'Rourke's original line-up included five producers, two senior researchers, two reporters and a broadcast co-ordinator.
Sheehy is the latest to leave the programme since Pat Kenny left.
Producer Donal O'Herlihy left last year and producer John McMahon, the former head of 2FM, has moved to the television department.
Conor Kavanagh and Tara Campbell remain on the panel and have now been joined by Hugh Ormond, who has come on board as executive producer.
Reporters Valerie Cox and Paddy O'Gorman also remain with the show.
Kenny left RTE after more than 30 years at the national broadcaster.
The announcement came as a shock to those who were working with him.