RTÉ News: Nine O'Clock

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RTÉ News: Nine O'Clock
RTÉ Nine News Ident 2009.png
On-screen logo 2009
Format News, Business, Sport, Weather
Presented by Eileen Dunne
Country of origin Ireland
Original language(s) English
Location(s) Donnybrook, Dublin
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel RTÉ One
Original run 31 December 1961 – Present
Related shows RTÉ News: Six One
RTÉ News on Two
External links

RTÉ News: Nine O'Clock is the nightly news programme of Irish television station RTÉ One. It airs Monday to Sunday at 9:00pm.


In the early years of RTÉ Television, the main evening bulletin was broadcast on the half-hour, at 9:30pm, as were the station's radio bulletins, where were broadcast at 1:30pm and 6:30pm. By 1974, the main television bulletin of the day was moved to 9:00pm. The main radio bulletins were also moved, in stages, with the last to move, the 6:30pm news, not being moved until 1990.[1]

RTÉ followed the BBC in having its news bulletins presented by a newsreader, (i.e., professional readers, often actors) who took no part on news gathering but simply read a script presented to them.

Among the most prominent readers of the 9:30pm bulletins were Charles Mitchel and Maurice O'Doherty. Later presenters of the Nine O'Clock News included Don Cockburn and Derek Davis. RTÉ journalists were eventually introduced as news presenters including Bryan Dobson and Anne Doyle.

Current programme[edit]

The bulletin usually runs for 30 minutes, including an advertising break which divides the broadcast in two. RTÉ's news format is heavily modelled on the BBC - it places less emphasis on set and graphics than bulletins on ITV News or Sky News.

Traditionally three separate elements were incorporated within the programme: news, sports results and the weather forecast. The weather forecast was subsequently separated and is now broadcast directly after the programme. There is usually no sports mentioned unless a major event is occurring with the main night sports bulletin being broadcast on RTÉ News on Two instead. [2]


On Sunday 7 January 2007, the programme was embroiled in controversy after reporting that Northern Irish politician David Ervine had died following complications from a heart attack. His death was given extensive coverage on RTÉ News: Nine O' Clock that night, with newsreader Anne Doyle going so far as to say he had just died as she was reading the headlines, and tributes beginning to pour in from RTÉ's Northern Editor Tommie Gorman, but this was retracted at the end of the bulletin. Whether he was alive or dead was to be disputed as confusion and panic arose following the broadcast, prompting Anne Doyle to state that she could neither confirm nor deny his death. He then died the following day.[3]

On 29 May 2012 RTÉ apologises after it emerged a member of their graphics team had airbrushed the logo of a TV3 microphone during a news report on the 27 May edition of the programme. Both broadcasters had been covering the return home of the pop duo Jedward following their performance at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, and the logo was removed from a still image that appeared behind the newsreader during the story. A spokesman said of the issue, "It is absolutely not editorial policy to airbrush out the logo of a rival station. We have a very good working relationship with TV3."[4]

In March 2009, RTÉ News at Nine O'Clock carried a report on 2 oil paintings depicting Brian Cowen, then-Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, in the nude that were briefly displayed in Dublin art galleries in March 2009 as an act of guerilla art. The report by Tadhg Enright displayed the paintings and mentioned that Cowen was "not thought to have posed for the anonymous artist".[5] The report was not used on subsequent newscasts. On 24 March, the Nine O'Clock News included an apology "for any personal offence caused to Mr Cowen or his family or for any disrespect shown to the office of Taoiseach by [the prior] broadcast."[6][7] The apology was read on air by Eileen Dunne. The original item was removed from the online archives at RTÉ.ie, and the apology added.[7] The RTÉ News report was criticised as being in bad taste by Fianna Fáil Senators Maria Corrigan and Mary O'Rourke and TDs M. J. Nolan and Michael Kennedy. Fine Gael TD Michael W. D'Arcy called it the "most distasteful report I have seen on RTÉ in years".[5] Kennedy urged consideration for the feelings of Cowen's wife and children, and called on Director-General of RTÉ, Cathal Goan, to resign, but did not advocate charging the artist.[8]


  1. ^ "Irish Public Service Broadcasting - 1960s". RTÉ Libraries and Archives. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  2. ^ "Nine News". RTÉ. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  3. ^ "'It was all my mistake and I regret the hurt,' says Gorman". The Irish Independent. 9 January 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  4. ^ "Red-faced RTÉ sorry for airbrushing out TV3 logo". Evening Herald (Independent News and Media). 29 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b McGreevy, Ronan (26 March 2009). "Cowen not consulted before complaint to RTÉ". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "Cowen artist 'could be charged'". BBC News. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Gardaí visit radio station in Cowen painting inquiry". The Irish Times. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Today FM producer brands reaction ‘crazy’". Irish Examiner. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 

External links[edit]