Mary Kennedy

Mary Kennedy (Irish: Máire Ní Chinnéide; born 4 October 1954) is an Irish writer, television personality and former newscaster. She presented the Eurovision Song Contest 1995 from the Point Theatre in Dublin. She has also presented her own Saturday night chat show called Kennedy, a precursor to Saturday Night with Miriam. Kennedy was co-presenter of the magazine programme Open House with Marty Whelan. She has previously presented Up for the Match and the People of the Year Awards. She is now co-presenter of Nationwide with Anne Cassin, having been so for a time with Michael Ryan.

Mary Kennedy
Born (1954-10-04) 4 October 1954
Clondalkin, Dublin, Ireland
ResidenceDublin, Ireland
EducationBachelor of Arts in French
Alma materUniversity College Dublin (UCD)
OccupationBroadcaster, writer
EmployerRaidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Known forEurovision Song Contest 1995, Kennedy, Open House, Up for the Match, People of the Year Awards, Nationwide
Height5 ft 4 in (163 cm)

Early life

Born in Clondalkin, Dublin, Kennedy was educated at Colaiste Bride in Clondalkin and University College Dublin, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. She taught English in Brittany, France, before returning to her alma mater to teach Irish and English.


Kennedy's broadcasting career started in 1978 when she applied for a job as continuity announcer at RTÉ. She went on to join the RTÉ News team, becoming a newscaster. She has also presented Eurovision Song Contest 1995, a Saturday night chat show called Kennedy, and was co-presenter with Marty Whelan on the magazine programme Open House.[1]

She used to present Up for the Match and the People of the Year Awards until RTÉ replaced her in both jobs with the younger Gráinne Seoige.[2]

Kennedy began working as Michael Ryan's co-presenter on the RTÉ local affairs show Nationwide.[1]

In April 2008, she commented on RTÉ television coverage of the state funeral of former President of Ireland Patrick Hillery.[3]

In May 2011, she fronted RTÉ television coverage of Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Ireland.[4]

She has read the news on RTÉ Radio 1.[5]

She has been a judge at the Rose of Tralee.[6]

She provided commentary at the inauguration of the ninth President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.[7]


In 2003, Kennedy published her memoirs, titled Paper Tigers.[8]

Lines I Love was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award.[7]

Lines for Living was published in 2011.[7]

Personal life

Her niece, Clare, was the girlfriend of Garda Ciaran Jones, swept to his death in the River Liffey after he tried to help motorists during torrential rain in October 2011.[9]

Her nephew is singer-songwriter, Dermot Kennedy.[10]


Kennedy was voted VIP magazine's "Most Stylish Woman in Ireland" in 2003.[11]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003Mary Kennedy"Most Stylish Woman in Ireland" (VIP)Won
????Lines I LoveIrish Book AwardNominated

See also


  1. "Mary Kennedy to Join Nationwide". Irish Film and Television Network. 5 April 2004. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  2. "Seoige sisters have far to fall after their meteoric RTÉ rise". Irish Independent. 25 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009. But the ice maiden thaw just didn't happen, despite RTÉ's attempts to turn Grainne into the girl next door. Her diary filled up impressively but at Mary Kennedy's expense who lost two prestigious gigs, 'Up for the Match' and 'People of the Year', to her.
  3. "Coverage of the State Funeral of former President Dr. Patrick J. Hillery on Wednesday, 16th April". RTÉ. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2008.
  4. Keane, Kevin (14 May 2011). "Broadcasters roll out big guns for visit". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  5. Kearns, Martha (9 April 2004). "Half three will never be the same again . . . Open House RIP". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 April 2004.
  6. "Daithi's smitten, says star pal Mary as rose Rita meets his mum". Evening Herald. 24 August 2010. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  7. O'Connell, Edel (21 October 2011). "Martin joins Mary to get last word on the good life". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  8. "Mary shows that she has the write stuff at launch". Irish Independent. 25 October 2003. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  9. Dunne, Stephen (29 October 2011). "I'll go on loving him - hero garda's girl". Evening Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  10. "Mary Kennedy praises her nephew, Dermot Kennedy". 24 November 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. Cunningham, Grainne; Hegarty, Joanne (5 March 2004). "Marty and Mary seek new TV doors after RTÉ slams shut 'Open House'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 March 2004.
Preceded by
Gerry Ryan & Cynthia Ní Mhurchú
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
Succeeded by
Morten Harket & Ingvild Bryn
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