RTÉ’S WELL-KNOWN London editor Brian O’Connell has said that he plans to leave the national broadcaster when it closes its London office next week.
O’Connell has reported from the UK for over two decades but made his announcement on Twitter this evening, saying: “I have decided to leave RTE when their London bureau closes at the end of next week.”
The 59-year-old later tweeted the Latin phrase “Omnia bona ad finem procedunt” which means ‘all good things must come to an end’.
Having joined RTÉ in Dublin in 1981 as a radio and TV reporter and newscaster he moved to London in 1989.
During his time there he covered the premierships of five Prime Ministers as well as the release of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six, the death of Princess Diana, the IRA bombing campaign and the long-running peace process.
O’Connell filed one of his final reports this evening as he reported on the end of the Paralympic Games in London.
The State broadcaster announced that it was closing its London office in March of this year in order to save up to €25 million. The five members of staff who worked there were offered relocation back to Dublin or a redundancy package.
In May, the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly called on both governments to support the case for retaining the London correspondent, noting “the concerns of the Irish community in Britain for the long-term consequences of not having an RTÉ correspondent in Britain”.
But the cost-cutting measure has gone ahead as originally planned.
Colleagues both past and present at RTÉ have tweeted the journalist this evening:
RTÉ said that O’Connell, his wife and son will continue to live in London.