Former Belfast Telegraph journalist Vincent Kearney has been appointed RTE’s northern editor for its news coverage.
r Kearney will replace Tommie Gorman in the role who retires in the spring.
He is an award-winning journalist whose 32 years’ experience has included senior editorial positions in regional and national newspapers.
Originally from Belfast, but now living in Lurgan with wife Louise and family, he worked at the Tele, was NI correspondent for The Sunday Times and later for the BBC worked on Spotlight and was its home affairs editor. He left Ormeau Avenue to make the short trip to RTE’s Belfast office in January 2019.
Currently RTE’s northern correspondent Mr Kearney has reported across all the broadcasters news programmes, providing television, radio and online coverage.
He said he was thrilled to take up the new position, “that is without doubt one of the best jobs in journalism on the island of Ireland”.
“Tommie Gorman will leave behind an amazing legacy and huge shoes to fill,” he added.
“I am delighted to be the person to be given the opportunity to fill them. RTE has a reputation for authoritative and comprehensive coverage of Northern Ireland affairs and I relish the challenge of continuing that tradition.”
Following the announcement, Mr Kearney was congratulated by politicians, the current and former secretary of state and other prominent figures.
Among them deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.
“I look forward to working with you in your new role,” she tweeted.
“Also, every best wishes to Tommie Gorman as he steps back after 20 years of reporting on the North. Enjoy whatever comes next for you.”
Managing director of RTE news and current affairs, Jon Williams said: “Few know and understand Northern Ireland better than Vincent Kearney.
“A gifted storyteller, three decades of reporting Northern Ireland have given Vincent insights and authority in a place where trust and credibility matter more than most.
“From the aftermath of Brexit, to the continuing Covid crisis, RTE has a unique role as an all-island broadcaster. No-one is better placed to continue the work of Tommie Gorman, and David Davin Power and Jim Dougal before him, than Vincent Kearney.”
Paying tribute to Tommie Gorman, Mr Williams added: “For 41 years, from Brussels to Belfast, via Sligo and Saipan, Tommie Gorman has been the beating heart of RTE News. He has earned the trust of audiences, north and south – and of all sides in Northern Ireland, telling their story, sharing his insights, and championing RTE’s role as an all-island news organisation.”