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Miriam O'Callaghan and Claire Byrne front-runners tipped to replace Sean O'Rourke

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End of the line: Sean O’Rourke on Killiney Hill overlooking Dublin Bay after announcing his retirement from his morning radio show. Photo: Steve Humphreys

End of the line: Sean O’Rourke on Killiney Hill overlooking Dublin Bay after announcing his retirement from his morning radio show. Photo: Steve Humphreys

End of the line: Sean O’Rourke on Killiney Hill overlooking Dublin Bay after announcing his retirement from his morning radio show. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Seán O'Rourke's announcement he would hang up his headphones after more than 25 years with RTÉ came as a bolt from the blue to his Radio One listeners.

Up to that point, it had just been another quiet Tuesday in lockdown.

But within RTÉ, his exit strategy had been carefully planned for weeks as one of its most eminent broadcasters called time on his lengthy career on the airwaves at a moment of his choosing.