RTÉ has announced that presenter Sean O’Rourke will not be continue to work for the station – after last week’s ‘golf gate’ controversy.
The broadcaster was one of the names revealed to have attended a dinner in Clifden for the Oireachtas Golf Society, in which 81 people attended – a clear violation of the recent government guidelines regarding COVID-19.
“After a meeting earlier today between RTÉ and Sean O’Rourke, it was mutually decided that Sean would not proceed with plans for future projects with RTÉ,” a statement read.
“RTÉ would like to thank Sean for his enormous contribution to broadcasting and wish him well with his future plans.”
Sean O’Rourke said “I spent many years with RTÉ presenting programmes on which public figures were called to account for their actions.
“Now I must call myself to account. The right course is to set aside our plans for my return to the airwaves.”
It is believed Sean, 65, was planning a new political show with the station.
The news comes after Sean publicly apologised for attending the event.
“To those of you wondering what if I was still asking the questions rather than facing them I just want to say: You’re right. I should not have been at the dinner in Clifden on Wednesday. I don’t have a defence. I was invited to play golf and I really didn’t consider it,” he said.
“Beyond that, other than to assume whatever was happening would be acceptable from a public health point of view. I very much regret that lack of thought and interrogation on my part, and I apologise unreservedly for it.”
The announcement came just hours after Claire Byrne officially took over Sean’s slot on Radio 1’s Today programme.
On her debut episode Claire interviewed Taoiseach Micheál Martin in studio.