End of an era as Anne signs off after 33 years at RTE
AND that's all from Anne.
Popular newsreader Anne Doyle read her final broadcast on RTE last night -- after exactly 33 years with the station -- with colleagues lamenting the loss of a unique talent.
"I've had a wonderful time here in RTE and I will miss it hugely, but it feels like the right time to move on," Ms Doyle said shortly before going on air.
"I will be 60 in January and there are many exciting projects ahead.
"I wish all my good friends and colleagues in the newsroom, with whom I have so enjoyed working for over 30 years, every happiness as I take my leave for the final time this evening," she said.
Ms Doyle read an eight-minute evening news bulletin at 8.50pm, which was shorter and earlier than usual because of the Christmas schedule.
Her final broadcast had a certain symmetry: she read the RTE news for the first time on Christmas Day in 1978.
"Anne Doyle has for many years been one of the most familiar faces and voices on RTE's services and is in the front rank of the public's affections," the station's director general Noel Curran said.
"While always reading the news with detachment and authority, she has evident warmth which the public has instinctively recognised.
"Anne has been a vital and dedicated member of our news team, while always remaining recognisably and very much herself. She will be missed by the public and we will miss her."
Ms Doyle, who is originally from Wexford, has been anxious to play down her retirement.
"It's not as if I'm a garda, a doctor or a nurse. If you collapse clutching your chest, it's not Anne Doyle you'll be looking for. I have friends in nursing who will be more missed than me when they retire," she told the Irish Independent earlier this month
The 59-year-old applied for a severance package at Montrose earlier this year.
Cash-strapped RTE was looking for 80 redundancies, but 237 workers applied.
"It was oversubscribed but I was fortunate to be one of lucky ones whose application was accepted," Ms Doyle said.
Staff taking voluntary redundancy will receive up to six weeks' pay per year of service, and staff over 55 years old will receive a lump sum of up to €60,000.
"This is genuinely the end of an era in our newsroom," managing director of RTE news and current affairs, Cillian de Paor, said.
"Anne's on-screen professionalism has made her a favourite with our audience for many years. We know her for other things -- for her wit, her lively personality, her legendary loyalty to friends, her meticulousness and her formidable skills in argument.
"Ni bheidh a leitheid ann aris."
Ms Doyle hasn't indicated what she intends to do in the future, apart from "some travelling", although she has been linked with a job in TV3.