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Micheál lands presenting role with RTÉ

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Mícheál Ó Scannáil with his co-presenter Aisling Moloney

Mícheál Ó Scannáil with his co-presenter Aisling Moloney

Mícheál Ó Scannáil with his co-presenter Aisling Moloney

A former student from Gorey Community School is set to become a familiar face for young television viewers after landing a role as presenter on news2day, RTÉ's news service designed specifically for children.

Mícheál Ó Scannáil, from Castletown, made his first appearance on the daily news show yesterday alongside joint host Aisling Moloney, having gone through a laborious interview process earlier this summer.

'I was interviewed for the role over Zoom, then had a live audition where I had to read out packages which had previously aired on the show,' said Micheál.

'I actually found out about the job ages ago but I had to keep it quiet until this week. There's been a huge response locally, people sending me messages, congratulating me, everyone seems very happy for me because they know how much I will love this job. I have a kind of childish energy and sense of fun which made me want to do this.'

Having earned a degree in Journalism from Dublin City University (DCU), Micheál went on to do a Masters in TV and Radio Journalism at Griffith College. From there he worked at Independent News and Media (INM) for two years, before applying for the role as presenter with news2day.

And he says his focus has always been on making documentaries and working in front of the camera.

'It was always my dream to make documentaries, to focus on the video side of things. I did some packages last week which aired on the show.'

One of those packages received an adverse reaction online, and this is something Micheál is keen to address in his new job.

'We kind of pride ourselves on the fact we cover everything, we don't shirk the big stories. But we tailor it for children and interact and entertain with them accordingly,' he says.

'In general we will cover whatever's in the news but there are things I'd like to cover myself specifically. Racism is one. It's very important we help children understand the dangers of racism.

I did a package on a school in Dublin this week and two of the head girls were women of colour and the comments underneath when it was posted on Twitter were horrible, people saying they're not Irish and so on.

'So that's something I'd like to impart if I could. We have the chance to educate people before they get older, if you teach them at that age they're less likely to have those prejudices.'

Two people who will glued to their screens every evening at 4.20 p.m. are Micheál's nephews.

'They gave me a bit of jib when they saw me on tv the other day, but they're buzzing really,' he laughed, and although there are some nerves associated with live television, Micheál is learning to use them to his advantage.

'I wasn't one bit nervous during the audition but when I had to get introduced last week I was suddenly bricking it. So this week I'll probably have some butterflies, it'll be like a county final or something, but as my brother said to me "if you're nervous it means you care".'

And what of the future? Does the 24 year-old have ambitions to progress at RTÉ, move over to Six One at some point?

'I always wanted to go down the documentary route, that's still something I'd love to do. But being here in the newsroom, with the editors and directors - they're the same team who do Six One - I'm seeing how it all works and it is tempting me to maybe go for something like Six One somewhere down the line,' he said.

Gorey Guardian