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RTE's man in the US is on way back home

RTE's Washington correspondent Richard Downes is to return home after more than two years in the job.

The national broadcaster confirmed Mr Downes, who succeeded Charlie Bird in the post, will be leaving the US in the coming months.

RTE insisted it would continue to have a reporter in Washington, despite closing its London bureau.

The station will be advertising the vacancy shortly, a spokeswoman told the Herald.

"He is (coming home). It's the end of his two years. We'll be advertising (the job) in the coming weeks. I don't have a date at the moment (for when Mr Downes will be back)," she said.

Mr Downes has been widely praised for his work in Washington since his appointment in 2010.

He has covered major news stories including the death of Osama Bin Laden, President Obama's re-election, the Boston bombings and Hurricane Sandy.

The 48-year-old also found himself reporting back on the court battles of Anglo Irish Bank's David Drumm and developer Sean Dunne.