Tuesday 16 July 2019

'It has been a great privilege' - Mark Cagney quits Ireland AM after 20 years

Mark Cagney. Photo: Kip Carroll
Mark Cagney. Photo: Kip Carroll
Mark Cagney and wife Audrey
From left to right: RTE DJs Mark Cagney, Gerry Ryan (seated) and Dave Fanning at the RTE radio centre in 1985
Mark Cagney holding a picture of his younger self. Photo: Naomi Gaffey
Sinead Desmond and Mark Cagney at TV3's Autumn 2016 launch at The National Concert Hall, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Sinead Desmond and Alan Hughes, Mark Cagney and Anna Daly (right)
Ireland AM Presenters Ciara Doherty and Mark Cagney at the Virgin Media Television New Season Press briefing in the Aviva Stadium as the group unveiled its new programming for 2018. Pictures Brian McEvoy
Mark Cagney
Anna Daly and Mark Cagney
Mark Cagney shaves head for Today FMs Shave or Dye
Presenters Sinead Desmond and Mark Cagney pictured at the unveiling of the new Ireland Am set at Tv3 Studio's in Ballymount Dublin Pic:Brian McEvoy No Repro fee for one use
Mark Cagney. Photo: Patrick Bolger
Mark Cagney
‘He did his best. Now whether he did was what I needed is a different kettle of fish’ - Mark Cagney’s father, Johnny, right, with his mother, Molly, centre, and Mark’s uncle Barry, in the 1950s.
‘She thought I was a dickhead, like most disc jockeys . . . but I was less of a dickhead around her’ - Mark Cagney with his first wife, Ann, and BP Fallon, in the late Eighties.
‘There is no question that she saved my life, because I have no idea what I would have done’ - Mark Cagney and his second wife, Audrey
Mark Cagney is set to spoil wife Audrey Byrne on her birthday

Niamh Lynch

Veteran television presenter Mark Cagney has announced that he is leaving Virgin Media One’s Ireland AM at the end of the month.

In a statement, Mr Cagney (63) said: “I will be stepping down as anchor and moving on from the 31st of July 2019. To everyone who ever worked on, contributed to, and especially watched AM over the years, my heartfelt thanks.”

“It has been one of the great privileges of my life, professionally and personally, to be part of this thing we call Ireland AM.”

Mr Cagney has been a part of Ireland AM since its inception in 1999: “I was approached by a friend and asked would I be interested in getting involved in a new media project. The project was the launch of commercial breakfast television in Ireland and ultimately became known to the public as Ireland AM.”

“As we approach July 2019 twenty years later - which honestly, is nineteen years longer than any of us thought it would last – it seems like the perfect time to stop getting up at 3.00am.”

Mr Cagney continued: “Over the twenty years, Ireland AM has become part of the Irish broadcasting landscape, an institution even, which has stitched itself into Irish daily life. Every day I met someone new, and I learned something new and I did it in the company of people I admired and respected, what more can anyone ask from a job?”

Sinead Desmond and Alan Hughes, Mark Cagney and Anna Daly (right)
Sinead Desmond and Alan Hughes, Mark Cagney and Anna Daly (right)

Director of Content at Virgin Media Television, Bill Malone, said: “I would like to thank Mark for his contribution to Ireland AM for the past 20 years. He is a giant of Irish broadcasting and has become a staple in Irish viewers’ homes each morning. He will be greatly missed by both viewers and colleagues alike and I wish him all the best for the future”.

Cagney previously worked as a radio presenter at Today FM, 98FM and RTÉ 2FM before he joined what was then known as TV3 Ireland in 1998.

From left to right: RTE DJs Mark Cagney, Gerry Ryan (seated) and Dave Fanning at the RTE radio centre in 1985
From left to right: RTE DJs Mark Cagney, Gerry Ryan (seated) and Dave Fanning at the RTE radio centre in 1985
Then-Ireland AM hosts Amanda Byram and Mark Cagney pictured in 1999 PIC:MARC O'SULLIVAN/COLLINS/DUBLIN
Mark Cagney and wife Audrey
‘She thought I was a dickhead, like most disc jockeys . . . but I was less of a dickhead around her’ - Mark Cagney with his first wife, Ann, and BP Fallon, in the late Eighties.
Mark Cagney with Amanda Byram in 1999 PIC: COLLINS DUBLIN..
Maura Derrane and Mark Cagney at her leaving party in the Morgan Hotel in 2006 Photo Garrett White / Collins
Back Row (l to r) Laura Woods, Simon Delaney, Tommy Martin, Muireann O Connell and Martin King. Front Row (L to R) Mark Cagney, Alan Hughes, Anna Daly, Elaine Crowleyand Cassie Stokes, Karen Koster and Glenda Gilson from Xpose. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Sinead Desmond and Mark Cagney at TV3's Autumn 2016 launch at The National Concert Hall, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Then-Ireland AM hosts Amanda Byram and Mark Cagney pictured in 1999 PIC:MARC O'SULLIVAN/COLLINS/DUBLIN
Mark Cagney holding a picture of his younger self. Photo: Naomi Gaffey
Ciara Doherty pictured at the TV3 Sony HD Studio with Sinead Desmond,Mark Cagney and Alan Hughes
‘Ireland AM’ hosts Ciara Doherty and Mark Cagney at the launch of the new season on Virgin Media Television. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Mark Cagney and Kathleen Watkins
Presenters Aidan Cooney, Sinead Desmond,Alan Hughes ,,Mark Cagney,Anna Daly and Antoin Savage pictured at the unveiling of the new Ireland Am set at Tv3 Studio's in Ballymount Dublin Pic:Brian McEvoy No Repro fee for one use
Mark Cagney shaves head for Today FMs Shave or Dye
Mark Cagney had a brief flirtation with cocaine in the early days of 2FM. Photo: Kip Carroll.
TV3's Sinead Desmond and Mark Cagney.
Ireland Am presenters Anna Daly, Mark Cagney, Sinead Desmond and Alan Hughes
Celebrating the launch of sibling channel 3e are Ireland AM's Mark Cagney (left) and TV3 news anchors Colette Fitzpatrick and Alan Cantwell

Cagney’s exit from Ireland AM is another big change for the show, with his former co-presenter Sinead Desmond quitting suddenly in October 2017 after 11 years. Meanwhile, Aidan Cooney left the flagship programme in December 2018.

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