Marian Finucane

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Marian Finucane
Born (1950-05-21) 21 May 1950 (age 67)
Nationality Irish
Education Scoil Chaitríona; College of Technology, Bolton Street, Dublin
Alma mater National University of Ireland, Galway[1]
Occupation Broadcaster
Employer Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Salary €570,000 (2008),[2]
€513,270 (2009),[3]
€492,000 (2011)[4]
€295,000 (2012)[4]

Marian Finucane (born 21 May 1950)[5] is an Irish broadcaster with Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). She has worked with the national broadcaster since in 1976, beginning as a continuity announcer. She was the first presenter of Liveline. She currently presents The Marian Finucane Show at weekend lunchtimes on RTÉ Radio 1.


Marian Finucane was born in Dublin and educated at Scoil Chaitríona, and the College of Technology, Bolton Street, Dublin. She practised as an architect until 1974 when she joined RTÉ as a continuity announcer, having been recruited by Eoghan Harris.[6] In 1976 she became a programme presenter working mainly on programmes concerned with contemporary social issues, especially those concerning women, in particular Women Today.[1]

Finucane in 1979 was the recipient of a Jacobs' Award for Women Today. Her Liveline programme on radio, a combined interview and phone-in chat show on weekday afternoons. In 1980 Finucane won the Prix Italia for a documentary on abortion, she interviewed a woman who was about to have an abortion, had travelled with her to England, been with her in the hospital and talked to her afterwards.[7] The Radio Journalist of the Year Award followed in 1988.[8]

Her television work included information programming on RTÉ such as "Consumer Choice" and the Garda investigation programme Crime Line.

Along the way, there was a failed marriage,[1] and then two children with her partner, John Clarke. Their daughter, Sinead, developed leukaemia, and died, aged eight, in 1990.[9]

In January 2015 she married John Clarke in front of close family and friends at a Dublin Registry Office.[10]

On Gay Byrne's retirement in 1999, she took over his early morning radio slot to present The Marian Finucane Show. Another broadcaster, Joe Duffy, took over her Liveline programme. On 24 June 2005 she presented her final Marian Finucane Show in that time-slot. Later that afternoon she received an honorary degree from NUI Galway. Apart from her media work this degree was in recognition of her work raising funds along with Clarke, towards the building of an AIDS hospice and orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa. In June 2005 she was replaced in her radio timeslot by Ryan Tubridy, and took over morning slots on Saturday and Sunday.[1]

In 2014, novelist Marian Keyes, who had been on Finucane's RTÉ 1 show to talk about her new book, told her Twitter followers that Marian Finucane had the "compassion and empathy of a cardboard box. Even my mammy called her a bad word".[11]


Marian Finucane earned €180,507 in 2003 and €239,265 in 2004 at RTÉ [2] and €570,000 in 2008.[12] The Director-General of RTÉ said there was "no question that by today’s standards" the salaries paid to its top presenters last year "were excessive". I have to repeat that they were set at a different time in a different competitive reality where some of this talent might be up for poaching by other organisations and in RTÉ’s view at the time, they delivered value for money". Fine Gael said the 2008 figure would rub “salt in the wounds of the many people who have lost their jobs or taken significant pay cuts in an effort to achieve wage restraint”. Labour's Liz McManus criticised RTÉ for not releasing the data sooner and said that: "This information should be easily available and there should be no question of concealing it or making it in any way inaccessible".[13]

In March 2013, it was revealed she had earned €492,000 in 2011 for four hours of programming each week. In 2012, her earnings from RTÉ were set at €295,000 per annum.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Murphy, Colin (2006). "Marian Finucane profiled". Archived from the original on 15 December 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Hegarty, Shane. "Present Tense » 1 Pat Kenny = 3 Derek Mooneys". The Irish Times. 
  3. ^ "Pat Kenny highest paid RTÉ presenter in 2009". RTÉ. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c O'Connell, Hugh (27 March 2013). "RTÉ reveals stars' salaries: Ryan Tubridy was paid €723,000 in 2011, according to figures released by the State broadcaster this evening". Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Photograph: Marian Finucane". RTÉ Libraries and Archives. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ferriter Diarmuid, Occasions of Sin, Page 471, Profile Books Ltd, London,2012 ISBN 978 1 86197 949 0
  8. ^ Marion Finucane Archived 16 May 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Sweeney, Ken (21 September 2012). "Broadcaster Marian Finucane opens her heart over loss of daughter to leukaemia". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "And the bride wore black: Marian Finucane wedding joy as RTE host ties the knot after 30 years". 20 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Marian Keyes says Marian Finucane has the 'empathy of a cardboard box'!". 12 November 2014. 
  12. ^ Clarke, Denise (10 October 2009). "Kenny tops the RTÉ richlist". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "RTÉ pay 'excessive' by today's standards". The Irish Times. 10 October 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 

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