Wednesday 20 February 2019

RTÉ correspondent Tiernan to leave under exit scheme

Damien Tiernan
Damien Tiernan
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

RTÉ's south-east correspondent Damien Tiernan has announced he is leaving the station after more than 20 years.

He is set to finish up with the State broadcaster at the end of next week, after taking up one of the packages as part of the exit scheme which was announced in 2017.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Mr Tiernan confirmed that he is currently looking "at a number of options".

"I obviously thought long and hard about it. RTÉ has been very good to me," he said, speaking about his decision to leave.

He was appointed as the south-east correspondent for RTÉ in December 1996.

Mr Tiernan was the second-youngest correspondent ever appointed at the broadcaster at the age of just 26. Journalist Orla Guerin had been the youngest appointee at the age of 23, when she was appointed foreign correspondent.

From Wicklow originally, Mr Tiernan began working with RTÉ in 1995, having previously worked at the 'New Ross Standard', the 'Wicklow People' and the 'Wexford People'.

He paid tribute to the people who helped him with stories through the years, and the people who have trusted him with their stories, "particularly in recent years, sex abuse victims".

Mr Tiernan announced his departure from RTÉ on social media yesterday, saying: "To whom it concerns, I am leaving RTÉ. I have been with the organisation for 23 years. Thank you to everyone with whom I have worked, especially my colleagues in the south east. I will be finishing the end of next week. Thank you and good luck, Damien."

Among the many who extended their best wishes as the news of his departure broke was broadcaster Jonathan Healy, who described him as: "One of the finest colleagues I ever had the pleasure of working alongside."

His departure marks another high-profile loss to the news team at RTÉ, following on from the departure of former political correspondent Martina Fitzgerald just two weeks ago.

Irish Independent

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