'It's been a great year behind the desk at RTE', says Keelin

RTE’s Keelin Shanley (left) with co-anchor Caitriona Perry

Sorcha O'Connor

It's a case of out with the old and in with the newsroom at RTE, as the familiar set is getting a revamp for 2019.

Newsreader Keelin Shanley told the Herald she was looking forward to seeing the big reveal, welcoming the changes after almost one year in the job with co-anchor Caitriona Perry.

"We are very excited about it, very excited, but I don't know the details yet," she said.


Hosting the flagship news show in RTE, the Six One, has been an opportunity she has relished and Keelin wouldn't change anything about the way the two news bulletins are transmitted every night.

"It tells you the news - there are so many times after a long day, I will sit in studio and watch the news as it is going out and you know the way when someone else has put a report together, you go, 'OK, now I get it, they're all the voices I need to hear'. I suppose it's a team that does its job well," she said.

Keelin was named as the new face of the Six One news alongside Caitriona Perry late last year and said it was a pleasure to work with Caitriona, who returned from her duties as Washington correspondent to join the newsroom team.

Their arrival saw the departure of Bryan Dobson to Morning Ireland and saw Sharon Ni Bheolain take the reigns of the 9pm bulletin.

However, Keelin heaped praise on the background team who have helped the pair settle in.

"It's been great, I'm really enjoying it," she said.

"It's been great working with Caitriona over the year.

"You know, there is such a great team behind us. I know we are sitting on the desk, if you like, but there are some real pros that we work with."

When they were appointed to the position, there was a lot of praise for letting two women take the lead on the bulletin. However, their gender doesn't matter to Keelin.

"I have worked with loads of women and loads of men. It's just the two of us doing our jobs. We get on very well, which is a bonus, but she is a real pro, Caitriona, I really enjoy working with her, it's great."

She admitted that sometimes she misses being out and about as a reporter, but added: "We have got out a fair bit.

"I was at the Pope's mass. So you're not always stuck behind the desk."

It was difficult for her pinpoint a highlight of the news year, but covering 2018's wild weather stood out.

"We were almost sleeping in RTE, we were reporting so much," she said.