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Hugh Linehan on Pat Kenny's move to Newstalk and all the other stories of the day

Hugh Linehan Wed, Jul 31
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  • 08:37
    There is very little good news in the newspapers and many of the stories making headlines are heartbreaking.

    The investigation into the deaths of Ruairí (5) and Eoghan (10) Chada became a murder inquiry last night after postmortems on the two boys found they had died at the hands of a third party.

    Their father Sanjeev Chada remains in Westport, Co Mayo but he is expected to be discharged today. Gardaí plan to interview him as soon as he is discharged.

    He had been driving in his car with his sons’ bodies in the boot for several hours before he crashed the vehicle on Monday afternoon.

    Communities in Carlow and in Westport are struggling to come to terms with the awful events.
  • 08:39
    There is further tragedy  in the  midwest where  the Traveller community is coming to terms with the deaths by suicide of a teenage couple within the space of a few days. A 15-year-old girl was buried in Limerick city yesterday, having taken her life last Friday. Her 17-year-old boyfriend died by suicide in Co Tipperary, just after news of her death emerged. The boy’s remains were found near his home on Monday. He had been missing since the weekend.
  • 08:50
    Amongst the most read stories on The Irish Times website this morning is a quite bizzare tale of an American engineering student who was locked in a US prison cell and just forgotten about for four days.  

    IN 2012 Daniel Chong called round to a pal's house to smoke some pot - as the kids call it - and while he was there the apartment was raided by the DEA and thousands of ecstasy tablets belonging to someone who lived there were found.

    Chong was taken into custody - which must have really freaked him out if he was stoned - but his nightmare was only starting.  He was told he would not be charged and asked to "hang tight" in a windowless cell for a few minutes. Good news? Not so much. Nobody came back for four days.

    He had no food or water and had to drink  his own urine to stay alive. He suffered hallucinations and tried to carve a farewell message to his mother in his arm.
    A short one, we hope. Last night US Justice Department spokeswoman Allison Price confirmed the settlement was reached for $4.1 million but declined to answer other questions.

    Like who was to blame and how could something so insanely stupid have happened.

    The bidding for the movie rights is proabably starting right about now.  
  • 08:53
    Hi I'm Conor Pope. You might recognise me from such live news blogs as this one 

    Lemme go see if I can find some happier news. 
  • 08:55
  • 08:55

    Mind the gap. Mind the gap. Mind the gap. 

  • 09:17
  • 09:18
    Did you skip breakfast today? You did? Big mistake.
  • 09:20
    Our reporter Jason Kennedy has just come back to the office after two week's holidays - I know it sounds more grown up when we call it "annual leave" but leave that to one side for a bit.  Stand by for some of his holiday snaps. They're deadly. 

  • 09:21
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  • 09:37
    A whole bunch of FG backbenchers have come together to write an op-ed for us. "There are always options at budget time, even when you are part of a financial bailout programme that has policy strings attached. The big question at the moment is how much we should reduce the annual deficit in 2014, and how."

    They then try and answer the how...

    Not the most entertaining or accessible article you will read today but still....  
  • 09:41
    As she upped stick ahd headed off to a land down under, Jennifer O'Connell was on a quest to unburden herself of the tyranny of stuff. How did she get on? 
  • 10:02
    In one section of today's paper we  have Fine Gael backbenchers saying austerity is brilliant and calling for more cuts (we're paraphrasing here), the news pages has their coalition partners saying quite the opposite.

    Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte has hardened the Government’s criticism of the troika over its insistence on a €3.1 billion adjustment in October’s budget, accusing it of moving the goalposts to impose an “arbitrary” target on the State.

    He said that the Troika had adopted a “particularly conservative disposition” on this issue that was unsuited to the environment the euro zone finds itself in.

    “I am disappointed, to be honest, that the troika is playing hardball on this issue because we have uniquely and alone of programme countries met very difficult targets . . . I always understood that it was the deficit figure of 3 per cent by 2015 that was the imperative and we have met our obligations to the troika programme in circumstances where real hardship has been inflicted on some families throughout the country.”
    Gwan Pat"
  • 10:06
    Zimbabweans are voting  today in a fiercely contested election pitting President Robert Mugabe against prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has vowed to push Africa’s oldest leader into retirement after 33 years in power. With no reliable opinion polls, it is hard to say whether the 61-year-old Tsvangirai will succeed in his third attempt to unseat the 89-year-old Mugabe but both sides are forecasting landslide wins.
  • 10:09
    Remember all the lovely sunshine? It's gone now. 
  • 10:27
    How does the Internet differ from the real world? Stand by please.
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  • 10:38
    Is it just me or does this "child" look awful old. 
  • 10:41
    Julian Assange has attacked the conviction of US soldier Bradley Manning on espionage charges, calling him a “hero”. Speaking inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the Wikileaks founder said the conviction by a military court set a “dangerous precedent”.
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  • 11:02
    Leeann I see the IT has changed headline: instead of "Woman to head all-Ireland inland navigation authority" it now reads "Sailor to head ..."
  • 11:06
    Liverpool FC has issued staff with a list of 'unacceptable' words and phrases in its effort  to combat all forms of discrimination at Anfield. The list has been given to all full-time and casual members of staff who have contact with the public on
    Liverpool FC has issued staff with a list of "unacceptable" words and phrases in its effort to combat all forms of discrimination at Anfield. The list has been given to all full-time and casual members of staff who have contact with the public on
  • 11:42

    The IRFU has appointed  John Plumtree as Ireland forwards' coach. He joins the set up from South African Rugby Union's Natal Sharks, where he has been head coach since 2008.

  • 11:45
    The final chapter of the Planning Tribunal's report has been published and it has concluded that former lobbyist Frank Dunlop made corrupt payments on behalf of businessman Jim Kennedy.

    The “Carrickmines module” published by the tribunal judges were "satisfied that it was intended by Mr Kennedy that Mr Dunlop would use all or a portion of the IR£25,000 to make corrupt payments to councillors.”

    The Carrickmines module looked at allegations that lobbyist Frank Dunlop had bribed councillors to rezone land belonging to businessman Jim Kennedy, at Carrickmines along the route of the M50. The module had been withheld when the report proper was published in March 2012, pending the outcome of court proceedings involving Mr Dunlop.
  • 12:11
    New retail figures have been released. Sales down 1.4 per cent in June. Even more alarming is the news that there has been more than a 30 per cent decline in sales in the last five years and now more than one in five shops is empty and over 50,000 jobs have been lost.


  • 12:24
    The top ten most annoying things that happen in Irish offices?

    I am guilty of seven of them. 

    1) The smell of hot food causes offence; i.e. curries & fish dishes.
    2) Taking your shoes off at your desk.
    3) When colleagues take your possessions without asking; i.e. mugs and stationary goods.
    4) Personal hygiene - not washing hands in the toilets, clipping toe nails or picking noses at desks.
    5) Leaving the kitchen facilities in a messy state.
    6) When workers bring crying babies into the office.
    7) The quick-fire spread of idle office gossip.
    8) Use of unnecessary vulgar language.
    9) Co-workers skiving and not putting the required effort in.
    10) Sending unnecessary emails to colleagues.
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  • 13:05
    The numbers claiming unemployment benefit fell 3,200 between June and July, bringing the claimant count below 420,000 for the first time in four years. Since peaking almost two years ago, the number of unemployed and underemployed people on welfare has fallen by 30,000.
  • 13:09
    Ryanair will keep increasing it baggage charges until no-one checks in bags, Michael O'Leary said today "We will keep increasing charges until we get rid of hold bags,'' he said. The airline has reduced the number of its passengers who checked in hold baggage from 80 per cent to 19 per cent. "We will never get rid of (hold) bags but I would be disappointed if we don't get our figure for (hold) bags down from around 20% to 10%,'' he said.
  • 13:16
    I am off to get summit to eat and when I come back I will be Hugh Linehan...

    True story.
  • 13:18
    Testing, testing... is this thing working?
  • 13:22
    Thanks Conor. This is Hugh Linehan, picking up the reins for the afternoon on the Daily Wire.
  • 13:30
    First, some exciting news about the future of newspapers...

  • 13:32
    Uh, oh .Met Éireann has issued a warning for localised flooding, thunder and up to 30mm of rain today.
    The wet weather looks set to continue with a forecast for a further 30mm to 40mm possible overnight and on Thursday. The Met Éireann yellow rainfall alert for Munster, Connacht and west Ulster remains until tomorrow
  • 13:35
    Worth listening to:

  • 13:53
    BREAKING: Newstalk have just announced that Pat Kenny is leaving RTE and will be joining the independent station.
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  • 14:09
    So Newstalk has confirmed that Pat Kenny's new radio show on the channel will begin on September 2nd and run from 10am - 12.30am (has anyone told Tom Dunne?)

    According to, 'his departure follows contract negotiations that have been ongoing for several month  His salary was €630,000 in 2011, €729,604 in 2009 and €950,976 in 2008.'

  • 14:10
  • 14:11
    The Newstalk statement in full:

    Newstalk 106-108 fm is delighted to announce the arrival of Pat Kenny to the station, to present a current affairs magazine and news show, every weekday from 10am to 12:30pm, starting on September 2nd 2013.
    Welcoming Pat to Newstalk, Station Editor, Garrett Harte said: “Pat Kenny’s arrival marks a significant milestone for Newstalk and reflects our long-term commitment to the development of independent radio, in Ireland. Pat is one of Ireland’s most respected broadcasters with an outstanding pedigree in quality journalism. His addition to the Newstalk team will greatly add to our on-air offering and is a further demonstration of the ambition of this station. I am delighted to welcome him to Newstalk.”
    Pat Kenny commented: “Like many of my colleagues, I have always regarded Newstalk as a valuable source of news and comment. I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the growth of Newstalk and to be part of a new team where, hopefully, my experience will also add value. I am relishing the challenge ahead and looking forward to a new chapter in my career, with the world of independent broadcasting, helping to develop Newstalk into the talk radio of choice for listeners countrywide.”
    Pat Kenny joins Newstalk following a long-standing career with RTÉ Radio and Television. His career has spanned news, current affairs and even music. He has presented flagship programmes including The Late Late Show, Prime Time and its predecessor Today Tonight, The Frontline and Kenny Live. He has been a newsreader, fronting countless Election and Referendum Specials and has hosted Today with Pat Kenny for 25 years. One of his earliest programmes was a weekend music show called the Outside Track.
    Newstalk also recently announced the arrival of Gerard Whelan as new Chief Executive. 
  • 14:14
    And the RTE statement in full:

    RTÉ today confirmed that broadcaster Pat Kenny will not be renewing his contract with RTÉ and will therefore be leaving the organisation with immediate effect.
    Confirming the departure of Pat Kenny, RTÉ paid tribute to the contribution Pat Kenny has made to public service broadcasting over many years. In a forty one year career with the station spanning both Entertainment and News and Current Affairs, Pat Kenny proved to be a versatile and popular broadcaster on radio and television.
    Pat Kenny joined RTÉ as a part-time radio announcer in 1972. With a natural grasp and passion for news and current affairs he moved quickly into broadcasting and later presented ‘Today Tonight’ winning a Jacob’s award in 1986 for his three radio programmes: ‘Saturday View’, ‘The Kenny Report’ and ‘The Outside Track’. Following the 1988 ‘Eurovision Song Contest’, which he co-hosted with Michelle Rocca, he presented a number of chat shows, including ‘Kenny Live’. He took over as host for ‘The Late Late Show’ from Gay Byrne in 1999 which he continued to present for the following ten years. In 2009 he was announced as the presenter of current affairs debate programme ‘The Frontline’, moving in January 2013 as one of the presenting team of current affairs programme ‘Prime Time’. Pat Kenny has been a presenter on RTÉ Radio 1 on his morning current affairs programme ‘Today with Pat Kenny’ since the 1980s, and has won multiple awards across his career.
    Speaking of Pat Kenny’s departure, RTÉ Director General Noel Curran said: ‘Pat has made a huge contribution to RTÉ over many years on both television and radio. Always meticulously prepared, he is a broadcaster of real talent, range and integrity. I have worked with Pat as a Producer of both his Current Affairs and his Entertainment series and I know the range of his talent. Pat Kenny’s contract with RTÉ expired earlier this year and we have been aware for some time that he had an offer from commercial radio. Through lengthy negotiations every effort was made to retain Pat’s services but unfortunately we could not come to an agreement. I would like to wish Pat the very best for the future and I would like to thank him, both personally and as Director General for his contribution to broadcasting on RTÉ. We must all now look ahead to refreshing our Radio 1 Schedule, on the back of the very strong JNLR figures last week.‘

  • 14:18
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  • 14:34
    Here's a video of Pat Kenny being interviewed about his move to Newstalk:

  • 14:51
    Pat Kenny's statement in full:

    Having been an on air presence on RTÉ radio and television for all of my broadcasting life, I have now decided to take on a new challenge.  I have accepted an offer from Newstalk to host a mid-morning current affairs and features show, with the objective of building a major audience in that time slot.  I am relishing the opportunity and the challenge to work in the independent commercial sector.  Over my career, despite its continuity within RTÉ, and particularly my years on mid-morning radio, from time to time I have radically changed direction, moving from children’s TV to music programmes, arts and features to news and current affairs.  In 1988, while co-anchor on the flagship current affairs programme Today Tonight I was invited to present the Eurovision Song Contest, which in turn led to an 11 year period presenting a Saturday night entertainment show, Kenny Live.  Then with the retirement of Gay Byrne, came perhaps the most daunting challenge to take on the Late Late Show, which I hosted for ten years. At that point in 2008, I was given the opportunity to develop an original current affairs show The Frontline, which proved to be popular with audiences and was not without its share of memorable moments and controversy.  So, against that background, I am delighted to have been invited to participate in a new on-air adventure.  I want to pay tribute to my wonderful and talented colleagues in RTÉ who contributed so much to our joint successes.  They may no longer be my colleagues, but I hope they will always remain my friends.  At this time, I have no immediate plans for TV but I would hope to return to your screens in some capacity in the not too distant future.  Most of all, I would like to thank all of the listeners and viewers who have tuned in over the years and look forward to continuing that relationship with the audience on Newstalk from September. 
  • 14:58
    (Drumroll). And now, ladies and gentlemen, it's the moment you've been waiting for ... Pat Kenny's Best Bits!
  • 14:59
    Bit Number 1: The Charlotte Church incident.

  • 15:00
    Bit Number 2. The Black-Face Child.

  • 15:02
    Bit Number 3. The Dawn French incident.

  • 15:03
    Bit Number 4. The Trophy House.

  • 15:06
    Bit Number 5. The Woman Who Didn't Want Tickets to the Toy Show.

  • 15:09
    Bit Number 6. The Insufferable A*******

  • 15:11
    Bit Number 6. The Shouty Frontline Man.

  • 15:20
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  • 15:56
    With crushing inevitability, Paddy Power have opened their book on Pat Kenny's successor on Radio 1. Ryan Tubridy is their early favourite at 11/10, which seems to ignore the fact that the slot is primarily a current affairs one. Miriam O'Callaghan is second favourite at 6/4, and then Ivan Yates at 7/1, with Marian Finucane, Rick O'Shea, Aine Lawlor, Joe Duffy and Derek Mooney trailing behind. Claire Byrne looks like good odds at 25/1 though.....
  • 16:02
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  • 16:37
    Noel Curran, Director General of RTE on R1 now:

    'I want to acknowledge the contribution of Pat'. Says RTE will announce its new schedule at the end of August.
  • 16:37
    Noel Curran: 'I met Pat. We had a long discussion. I explained that there were limits on how far we could go.'
  • 16:38
    Noel Curran. 'The main thing to say is we will replace quality with quality. We'll replace Pat with another broadcaster of stature.'
  • 16:40
    Noel Curran: 'The reductions we've made in fees has brought us into line with what the market  prepared to pay or under what the market's prepared to pay. We may lose others. The commercial market tends to approach the most experienced broadcasters.'
  • 16:42

    Noel Curran also talking to Matt Cooper on Today FM (gift of bi-location).

  • 16:44
    Noel Curran to Matt Cooper: 'If you replace talent with talent, then audiences will grow.'

    'We haven't made a decision (on replacement) yet. We can now broaden discussion.'

    'We don't have enough women on our panels. Nobody will be getting a presentation role because they're a woman or because they're a man.' 

  • 16:46
    The message from Noel Curran in both interviews seems to be 'we listened to people's concerns' (presumably about presenter fees) and this is a consequence of that. So it's about the money. Hardly a surprise.
  • 16:53
  • 16:57
    Here's the full version of that video with Pat Kenny on his move to Newstalk.

  • 17:11
    Pat Kenny now on George Hook's show.

    'Why did I do it? It was the last great spin on the roundabout for me. I've done pretty much everything... when this opportunity came my way it stopped me in my tracks... I came to the conclusion if I don't so it now I'll never do it.'
  • 17:12

    'To this moment I've never been inside the Newstalk studios. I know it will be different but I'm very much looking forward to it.'

  • 17:13
    'I haven't ruled out doing television. I want to get the Newstalk show bedded in. So I'm not going to rush into anything. I haven't ruled out nor have RTE ruled out me doing something on television.'
  • 17:16
    'I left my show on RTE in rude good health. So I now it'll be a mammoth task to climb anywhere near those number in the short term.'
  • 17:38