Thursday 20 June 2019

'It was high time for a reshuffle and I was anxious to move on' - Sharon Ní Bheoláin on leaving Six One

Sharon Ni Bheolain hosts Crimecall on RTE
Sharon Ni Bheolain hosts Crimecall on RTE
REGRETS? Sharon Ni Bheolain revealed last year that she was paid significantly less than her RTE ‘Six-One News’ co-anchor Bryan Dobson. She has since moved to presenting the ‘Nine O’Clock News’, but does not regret causing the controversy: ‘My only regret is that I didn’t speak to Dobbo beforehand,’ she said. ‘He was in the States on holiday but I should have tried to get hold of him.’
Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ni Bheolain
RTÉ’s Sharon Ní Bheoláin. Photo: Maxwell Photography
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

RTE news stalwart Sharon Ní Bheoláin said she was "anxious to move on" from her position as Six One news anchor, prompting a reshuffle on the network early this year.

The journalist had been at the helm of the primetime news slot alongside Bryan Dobson for 13 years before they both moved on to different positions, placing Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry at the forefront of the gig in January. But Ní Bheoláin said her decision was one that had been a long time coming as she was keen to move her career in a new direction and she now hosts Crimecall and Leaders' Questions.

"Twelve and a half years is an eternity in television, for viewers and presenter alike. It was high time for a reshuffle and I was anxious to move on. That's not a reflection on the team or my lovely co-presenter or our wonderful audience who accepted us into their homes each evening," she told Woman's Way.

"I just felt I had outgrown the bulletin and I was anxious to get stuck into something new. I hope that doesn't sound ungrateful because I recognise there isn't a better programme on which to earn your stripes than Six One. And I couldn't have asked for a better co-pilot than Dobbo or a better team than my trust Six One colleagues, but change keeps you fresh and on your toes.

Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ni Bheolain
Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ni Bheolain

"Six One is an institution, it doesn't belong to any one or two presenters, they're merely looking after it until the next generation comes along."

It's been a trying year for the journalist as 41-year-old Conor O'Hora was jailed for three years in May for harassing the tv star between 2013 and 2014, as well as three counts of possessing child pornography. She admitted to having to "face it head on", but preferred not to be drawn on the topic.

"Life throws curve balls at us all, it was horrific, but what choice have you got but to get on with it? I'm resilient, I have good people around me, I dealt with it like I deal with everything, I faced it head on," she said.

"If there was a hierarchy of victims in this case, I wouldn't be at the top - there were young children and others who undoubtedly suffered more than I. Out of respect for them, I won't be saying anything else."

Ní Bheoláin, despite her high profile and recognisability, is famously private, and said she has an "uneasy relationship with publicity."

Sharon Ni Bheolain
Sharon Ni Bheolain

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