Cathal Mac Coille

Cathal Mac Coille (born 1952) is a retired Irish broadcaster, researcher and journalist. He was a co-presenter of Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 for most of the period from 1986 until his retirement in 2017.[1] He was used by Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) in numerous political broadcasts and interviewed several prominent politicians.

Cathal Mac Coille
Cathal Mac Coille (right) with Aine Lawlor
Born1952 (age 6667)
Alma materUniversity College Dublin
OccupationJournalist, broadcaster
Notable credit(s)
Morning Ireland

Mac Coille also presented other shows on radio and television, including This Week and One to One. His journalism work has included stints with Comhar and the Sunday Tribune and he also spent time as a reporter with TG4.


Mac Coille started his career as editor of the Irish language magazine, Comhar. He then went on to get a Bachelor of Arts in History from University College Dublin. He first joined RTÉ as a radio researcher in 1974, initially working at the Nuacht desk for five years. He was a member of the RTÉ Northern Staff from 1978 to 1984 and from 1984 to 1986 presented This Week and other news programmes.[2] He worked as political correspondent with Irish language television channel, TG4. He also worked as a journalist with the Sunday Tribune newspaper for five years from 1990.[3]

Mac Coille is best known for presenting Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1, which is Ireland's most listened to radio programme and has been on air since 1984.[4] He joined the Morning Ireland team in 1986, left the show in 1990 but returned again from 2001 until his retirement in 2017.[1] In 1990, Mac Coille won a Jacob's Award for his work as presenter of Morning Ireland. Mac Coille regularly interviewed politicians such as Gerry Adams[5] and Eoin Ryan Jnr,[6] and breakfasted politically with CNN broadcaster Larry King on Super Tuesday in February 2008.[7]

Mac Coille has also worked on One to One, a television interview series broadcast on RTÉ One.[8] In radio he worked on the Good Friday Agreement and the 2008 United States presidential election.[2][9] Mac Coille was part of a crew of RTÉ employees who travelled to the United States to cover the Super Tuesday election event, a move which was later criticised when the true cost emerged.[9]

In September 2010 on Morning Ireland Mac Coille received a controversial nine-minute live interview from Taoiseach Brian Cowen at a Fianna Fáil think-in in Galway; the interview received international attention and led to increased pressure on Cowen to resign in the days that followed.[10][11][12][13]

Personal life

Mac Coille grew up in Clondalkin and attended school at Coláiste Mhuire in the city centre,[3] before moving to Phibsborough in Dublin. He is married with four children.


  1. Fox, Claire (28 July 2017). "Tributes paid to 'kind' and 'diligent' Cathal Mac Coille as he leaves RTE's Morning Ireland". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  2. "Morning Ireland Profile: Cathal Mac Coille". RTÉ. 2009. Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  3. "Turas Teanga Profile". RTÉ (in English and Irish). Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  4. "Good Morning". Irish Examiner. 26 November 2004. Archived from the original on 22 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  5. "Frightening men haven't gone away". Irish Independent. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  6. Harris, Eoghan (9 December 2007). "Reaching out for a few raw nerves in the Irish Republic". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  7. Harris, Eoghan (10 February 2008). "Fairytale ending so sad and predictable". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  8. "One to One Brian Cody". RTÉ. 16 February 2009. Archived from the original on 7 March 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  9. Kenny, Colum (25 May 2008). "Super expensive: RTÉ's US election costs just keep on growing". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  10. Minihan, Mary (14 September 2010). "Taoiseach transcript…". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
  11. Bray, Allison (15 September 2010). "Radio listeners blast Brian Cowen radio 'disgrace'". The Belfast Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  12. McCarthy, John-Paul (19 September 2010). "The secret to a long life is knowing when it's time to go". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  13. McDonald, Henry (20 September 2010). "Irish PM Brian Cowen under pressure after 'drunk' radio interview". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
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