Marty Whelan has criticised RTÉ for forcing experienced broadcasters to retire at 65 – following the departure of Sean O’Rourke and Mary Kennedy.
The TV presenter, who will turn 65 next year, has insisted he has no desire to retire anytime soon.
Speaking to the Irish Daily Mirror, Marty said: “My attitude is you do what you do for as long as you can and then good luck and goodnight and thanks very much.”
“But I’ll be keeping it going past [my 60s], that will always be my intention.”
“Ah, I’ll never stop. I’m like the Duracell bunny with the batteries: doesn’t run out.”
When asked whether he’ll have to retire next year when he turns 65, Marty remained coy, and simply said “conversations will be had”.
Speaking about the retirement of RTÉ Radio 1 host Sean O’Rourke and Nationwide’s Mary Kennedy, Marty said: “I think it’s a great pity because these people have the capability and still so much to offer for much longer, absolutely of course I do.”
“And I’ve always said that. It’s not something I am just figuring out now, I have always been of that belief one shouldn’t have to [retire].”
“When I think back to Larry Gogan, and Terry Wogan and Gay Byrne, and all of these radio broadcasters who went on into another age. To be young in the BBC was practically 90 as far as I recall,” he continued.
“So I don’t think people should be asked to or should retire at 65 if they are fine and well and capable of doing the job, because clearly that’s the main thing.”
“The thing about RTE has been and is that it is a part of people’s lives everywhere. You turn on the radio anywhere and you can find us, and all over the world.”
“We know from the radio show in the morning that people listen to us in Canada, in Australia, we know that. And then bang, you’re suddenly not there, and you are going ‘hang on a second’.”
“And I think it’s because RTE is an organisation that has brought these voices to people over the years, and it seems to be a great shame that people are being silenced at a certain stage.
“I think it’s a great pity,” he added.
On this week’s episode of #GossChats, Goss.ie Founder Ali Ryan chats to TV presenter and fashion guru Darren Kennedy about anxiety during lockdown, how to stay positive, his two new shows and styling yourself in isolation.
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