Opinion: Met Éireann has come a long way from the pointy sticks and wall charts
An old farmer I knew had a 'set' against Met Éireann's Gerald Fleming, who used to do the weather forecasts on RTÉ TV.
It wasn't personal; just a feeling that he of the relaxed style, woolly jumpers and signature sign-off wink was always wheeled out whenever there was bad weather on the way.
The farmer died a while back but, in his later years, developed another strongly held view, that the forecasting had become more accurate since all the 'girls' had started doing the weather.
He was right in that forecasts have become more accurate, but that's more to do with improvements in the quality of the information that is available than the gender of those relaying it.
Along with the Gerry Murphy, the RTÉ weather panel now comprises Evelyn Cusack, Jean Byrne, Joanna Donnelly, Siobhan Ryan, Karina Buckley, Audrey McGrath, Helen Curran, Michelle Dillon, Nuala Carey and Louise Heraghty. Some are meteorologists, others not.
Back in 1999, RTÉ tried to drop the meteorologists from their presenting staff in favour of younger, non-expert staff, but massive public outrage led to their quick reinstatement.
When Gerald Fleming started off with the met service in 1980, pointy sticks and a chart on the wall were the order of the day. He did his first TV broadcast in 1985 and once said that he adopted the wink to make a visual connection with the viewer.
Fleming stepped down from his TV role in 2009, but continued on as head of forecasting until his recent retirement.