RTÉ newsreader Anne Doyle has read her final broadcast tonight, exactly 33 years to the day since she first appeared on national television.
She read an eight-minute main evening news bulletin at 8.50pm, shorter and earlier than usual because of the Christmas schedule.
The broadcast ended with a special report which looked back at her long and distinguished career at Montrose.
I must confess, I’ve been a fan of RTÉ (Radio Telefis Éireann, the national broadcaster of Ireland) since the late 1990’s. They were one of the first to do consistent Internet broadcasting of their news services. Unencumbered by the silly tax-driven rules that restrict the BBC and desirous to keep an extensive diaspora bonded to home, it makes for interesting viewing. I first learned of the Columbine tragedy while watching RTÉ.
Because of the time difference, it was easier to watch the 9.00 news, and Anne Doyle was the main newsreader for many years. (Broadcasting the Angelus before 6.01 news was way cool, IMHO.) I was struck at her serious, almost deadpan delivery. Those who sing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” never saw Anne Doyle read the news. But her professionalism was undeniable. CBS would have done well to emulate RTÉ in their selection criteria of the first American woman to anchor a network newscast; it would have avoided the fiasco of a perky lightweight like Katie Couric.
The fact that a small country could best The Greatest Nation on Earth in such a matter is not only a tribute to the Celtic “gift of gab” that we see repeated here on a regular basis (think of how many Irish and Scots-Irish names dominate talk radio here.) It’s also a tribute to RTÉ’s judgement as well.
Best wishes to her in her future endeavours. In the meanwhile, RTÉ News online remains an excellent source of news, especially since it includes (in the evening in the U.S.) Euronews. Since Europe in general and Ireland in particular are at the centre of the current debt crisis, it makes for compelling–and free–viewing.