Thursday 19 April 2018

Now for the news: RTE is not replacing presenter Sharon Ni Bheolain

Sharon Ni Bheolain
Sharon Ni Bheolain
Aine Lawlor
Colette Fitzpatrick

Ken Sweeney, Entertainment Editor

RTE is not looking for a replacement for Sharon Ni Bheolain.

TV3's Colette Fitzpatrick has been among the names tipped to replace the Six One anchor.

But RTE has denied that this is the case.

A top-level source told the Herald: "RTE are not looking, either internally or externally, for anyone to replace Sharon Ni Bheolain. Absolutely not. There is no vacancy."

The stories were sparked by an interview that Sharon (42) gave to the RTE Guide in which the presenter said that, while she enjoyed working in TV news, she was "ready for something new".

An RTE insider said: "If you read the actual quote, Sharon said she would like to do something new.

"That doesn't mean it couldn't be in addition to anchoring the Six One news."

In recent months, Gavin Jennings from Morning Ireland has popped up presenting TV's Doctors On Call while journalist Aine Lawlor has presented a two-part documentary on cancer treatments in addition to hosting TV's The Week In Politics for RTE News and Current Affairs.

The RTE source said: "Sharon didn't say she was leaving journalism, or RTE. All she spoke about doing something new after eight years.

"A lot of journalists in RTE take on other projects as well as hosting news and current affairs programmes."

The Montrose insider said that Ni Bheolain would continue to anchor the Six One news with Bryan Dobson "for the foreseeable future".

"No one can put a time on how long anybody stays in a job but for the foreseeable future Sharon Ni Bheolain will be bringing the news to viewers on RTE News," the source said.

Sharon split from husband Kevin Cantrell, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter Faye, in 2005.

Following the split Sharon began a relationship with vet Finbarr Heslin.

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